Tribune Company

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Tribune Company
TypePrivate
IndustryNews, entertainment, broadcasting
Founded1847
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois
Key peopleSam Zell, Chairman
Tony Hunter & Eddy Hartenstein, Co-CEO Publishers
Gerry Spector, COO
Nils Larsen, Chairman, Tribune Broadcasting
Gary Weitman, SVP/Corporate Relations
Sean Compton, President Programming & Entertainment, Tribune Broadcasting
Jerry Kersting, President Broadcasting
ProductsTelevision, newspapers, radio
RevenueIncrease US$3.18 billion (FY 2010)
Owner(s)JPMorgan Chase
Oaktree Capital Management
Angelo, Gordon & Co.
Employees14,000
WebsiteTribune.com
 
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Tribune Company
TypePrivate
IndustryNews, entertainment, broadcasting
Founded1847
HeadquartersChicago, Illinois
Key peopleSam Zell, Chairman
Tony Hunter & Eddy Hartenstein, Co-CEO Publishers
Gerry Spector, COO
Nils Larsen, Chairman, Tribune Broadcasting
Gary Weitman, SVP/Corporate Relations
Sean Compton, President Programming & Entertainment, Tribune Broadcasting
Jerry Kersting, President Broadcasting
ProductsTelevision, newspapers, radio
RevenueIncrease US$3.18 billion (FY 2010)
Owner(s)JPMorgan Chase
Oaktree Capital Management
Angelo, Gordon & Co.
Employees14,000
WebsiteTribune.com
The Tribune Tower is the headquarters of the company

The Tribune Company is a large American multimedia corporation based in Chicago, Illinois. It is the nation's second-largest newspaper publisher, with ten daily newspapers and commuter tabloids including Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Baltimore Sun, Daily Press and The Morning Call, among others.

Through Tribune Broadcasting, the company operates 23 television stations, WGN America on national cable, and Chicago's WGN radio. The group's combined reach is more than 80 percent of U.S. television households. Investment interests include Food Network (31%).

Tribune Interactive, another subsidiary, manages the interactive operations of major daily newspapers such as Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times and their associated websites. Its national network sites owned with partners include CareerBuilder.com, Cars.com, Apartments.com and Topix.net. With more than 50 websites overall, Tribune Interactive ranks among the nation's leading news and information networks. The sites attract more than 20 million unique visitors per month.

Tribune Media Services provides syndicated content to print and electronic media.

Key company investment interests include CareerBuilder (30.8% owned), Classified Ventures (28%) and Topix.com (34%).

Contents

Early history

Print pioneer

Tribune was founded in 1847. That year, on June 10, the Chicago Tribune published its first edition in a one-room plant located at LaSalle and Lake streets. The original press run consisted of 400 copies printed on a hand press.

The Tribune erected its first building in 1869 with a four-story structure at Dearborn and Madison Streets. In October 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed the building, along with most of the city. The Tribune reappeared two days later with an editorial declaring "Chicago Shall Rise Again." The newspaper's editor and part-owner, Joseph Medill, was elected mayor and led the city's reconstruction. A native Ohioan who first acquired an interest in the Tribune in 1855, Medill gained full control of the newspaper in 1874 and ran it until his death in 1899.

Medill's two grandsons, cousins Robert R. McCormick and Joseph Medill Patterson, assumed leadership of the company in 1911. That same year, the Chicago Tribune's first newsprint mill opened in Thorold, Ontario. The mill marked the beginnings of the Canadian newsprint producer later known as QUNO, in which Tribune held an investment interest until 1995.

The Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate was formed in 1918, leading to Joseph Patterson's establishment of the company's second newspaper, the New York Daily News on June 26, 1919. Tribune's ownership of the New York tabloid was considered "interlocking" due to an agreement between McCormick and Patterson. In the wake of a dispute with some of its labor unions the Daily News was sold to British businessman Robert Maxwell in 1991.

In 1925, the company completed a new headquarters and one of Chicago's first "skyscrapers", the Tribune Tower.

In the 1960s, the company entered the fast-growing Florida market, acquiring the Fort Lauderdale-based Sun-Sentinel in 1963 and the Orlando Sentinel in 1965. The Daily Press of Newport News, Virginia, joined Tribune's newspaper group in 1986.

A merger with the Los Angeles-based Times Mirror Company, completed in June 2000, effectively doubled the size of Tribune by adding more newspapers to the company's holdings. The $8.3 billion transaction was the largest acquisition in newspaper industry history.[1] The Times Mirror merger added seven daily newspapers to the Tribune group, including the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Baltimore Sun and the Hartford Courant. Tribune was now the only media company with newspapers and television stations in the top three markets. Among other advantages from the merger, including various economies of scale, Tribune newspapers could now effectively compete for national advertising. Tribune Media Net, the national advertising sales organization of Tribune Publishing, was established in 2000 to take advantage of the company's expanded scale and scope. By 2002, revenues had grown to $5 billion.

Tribune also launched daily newspapers targeting urban commuters, including the Chicago Tribune's RedEye edition in 2002, followed by an investment in AM New York one year later. In 2006 Tribune acquired the minority equity interest in AM New York, giving it full ownership in the newspaper. The company sold both Newsday and AM New York to Cablevision in 2008.

Move into broadcasting

The company entered broadcasting in 1924 by purchasing WDAP, one of Chicago's first radio stations. Tribune later changed the station's call letters to WGN, reflecting the Tribune's slogan, "World's Greatest Newspaper." WGN was first to broadcast the World Series, the Indianapolis 500 and the Kentucky Derby, and introduced microphones in the courtroom during the 1925 Scopes "monkey trial" in Tennessee.

Tribune moved the infant television industry in 1948, with the establishments of WGN-TV in Chicago and WPIX in New York City. These stations became the foundation for Tribune Broadcasting, today one of the country's largest independent TV groups. In 1978 WGN-TV became one of the first national "superstations", as its signal was linked via satellite to cable systems across the United States. The present-day cable version of the Chicago station, known as WGN America (formerly Superstation WGN), reaches about 60 million U.S. homes outside Chicago through cable and direct broadcast satellite.

In the early 1980s Tribune Broadcasting expanded its broadcast holdings and moved into television production and syndication through its Tribune Entertainment subsidiary. Programs either produced or distributed by Tribune Entertainment have included U.S. Farm Report, Independent Network News, Soul Train, and Geraldo. Tribune Entertainment was closed in 2007.

In 1993 Chicagoland Television (CLTV), the Chicago area's first 24-hour cable news television channel, was launched by the company. CLTV utilizes the resources of both the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV. Tribune is also a minority (30 percent) owner of the Food Network, along with majority partner Scripps Networks Interactive.

Later expansion

In 1981 Tribune acquired the Chicago Cubs baseball team and its stadium, Wrigley Field, from the Wrigley family for $20.5 million. The WGN stations in Chicago enjoyed a long relationship with the team, and the company's acquisition of the Cubs further cemented the partnership.

In 1983, after 136 years of private ownership, Tribune became a public company with an initial public offering (IPO) of 7.7 million shares valued at $206 million. The opening price per share was $26.75. At the time, it was one of the largest IPOs ever made. The company's New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol was TRB. Tribune's total operating revenues had grown to $2.2 billion in 1995.[citation needed]

Tribune's broadcasting subsidiary became a minority shareholder in the WB Television Network, a new program service launched by the Warner Bros. Television division of Time Warner. All but a handful of Tribune's television stations became affiliates of the WB Network when it was launched in January 1995. During this period Tribune's TV station holdings grew, nearly tripling in number from eight in 1995 to 23 as of 2012. The reverse occurred in radio, as Tribune sold all of its radio properties with the exception of WGN in Chicago. Tribune's partnership in the WB Network ended in 2006 when it was merged with CBS-owned UPN. The result was The CW Television Network, jointly owned by CBS and Time Warner and affiliated with several Tribune-owned stations; Tribune does not own any portion of the network.

Tribune's television stations and newspapers are complemented by several news and information websites. The sites are operated by Tribune Interactive, established in 1999. The group manages all aspects of the company's TV and newspaper sites, plus special-interest sites like ChicagoSports.com and many sites featuring local dining and entertainment information. Affiliated national-brand classified advertising sites, in which Tribune owns an equity interest, include CareerBuilder, cars.com and apartments.com.

Recent developments

On April 2, 2007, Chicago-based investor Sam Zell announced plans to buy out the media company for $34.00 a share, totalling $8.2 billion.[2] Zell's intentions were to turn the company private. The deal was approved by 97% of the Company's shareholders on August 21, 2007.[3] Privatization of the Tribune Company occurred on December 20, 2007 with termination of trading in Tribune stock at the close of the market.[4]

On December 21, 2007, Tribune and Local TV announced plans to collaborate in the formation of an as yet unnamed "broadcast management company".[5] On January 31, 2008, Tribune Company announced it will purchase real estate leased from TMCT, LLC, which includes properties used by the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant. The company received an option to purchase the real estate for $175 million through the 2006 restructuring of TMCT, LLC.

In addition, Tribune announced the sale of Tribune Studios and related real estate in Los Angeles to Hudson Capital, LLC, for $125 million. The parties also agreed to a five-year lease allowing KTLA-TV to continue operating at the location through 2012.[6]

On February 4, 2008, Tribune Company today named broadcast veteran Ed Wilson as president of Tribune Broadcasting, overseeing the company's 23 television stations, Superstation WGN, Tribune Entertainment, and WGN Radio. His appointment is effective February 11.[7]

On April 28, 2008, Tribune completed an acquisition of real estate from TMCT Partnership.[8]

On July 29, 2008, Cablevision completed a purchase of Newsday from Tribune.[9]

On September 8, 2008, United Airlines lost (and later the same day almost regained) $1 billion in market value when an archived Chicago Tribune article from 2002 about United filing for bankruptcy appeared in the "most viewed" category on the website of the Sun-Sentinel. Google News index's next pass found the link as new news. Income Security Advisors found the Google result to be new news, which was passed along to Bloomberg News where it became a headline. (Tribune Company, which owns both papers, noted that one click on a story in non-peak hours could flag an article as "most viewed".[10])

On December 8, 2008, faced with high debts related to the company going private, Tribune filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.[11] Company plans call for it to emerge from bankruptcy on May 31, 2010.[12] It was the largest bankruptcy in the history of the American media industry.[2]

On October 27, 2009, Thomas S. Ricketts purchased a majority (95 percent) ownership of the Chicago Cubs. The sale also included Wrigley Field and a 25 percent ownership stake of Comcast SportsNet Chicago, as part of a deal designed to help Tribune restructure.[13]

In October 2010, Randy Michaels, who was made CEO after Zell's purchase of the company, was removed and replaced by an executive council. The New York Times had reported earlier in the month about his "outlandish, often sexual behavior"; that he also exercised in his previous job at Clear Channel Communications.[14][15]

On July 13, 2012, Tribune Company received approval of a reorganization plan to allow the company to emerge from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware bankruptcy court. Oaktree Capital Management, JPMorgan Chase and Angelo, Gordon & Co., which are the company's senior debt holders, will assume control of Tribune's properties. The company is in the process of transferring ownership of the Tribune Broadcasting broadcast television and radio station licenses to the investment groups that now operate the company, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.[16]

Assets

Print media

English-language newspapers:

Spanish-language newspapers:

Broadcast media

For a complete list of the company's past and present broadcast holdings, please see Tribune Broadcasting.

Cable television

Digital assets

Note: This list is partial

WebsiteLinkAffiliates
ForSalebyowner.comForSalebyowner.comWholly Owned
CareerBuilderCareerBuilder.comMcClatchy and Gannett
Topix.netTopix.netMcClatchy and Gannett
Healthkey.comHealthkey.comWholly Owned[17]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Tribune called on to sell L.A. Times". CNN. 18 September 2006. http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/18/news/companies/latimes/index.htm. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b David Carr (October 5, 2010). "At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/media/06tribune.html. Retrieved 2010-10-06. "Less than a year after Mr. Zell bought the company, it tipped into bankruptcy, listing $7.6 billion in assets against a debt of $13 billion, making it the largest bankruptcy in the history of the American media industry."
  3. ^ Desiree J. Hanford (2007-08-21). "Tribune Shareholders Back Zell's Takeover". The New York Times (Chicago). http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/22/business/media/22tribune.html. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "At a special shareholder meeting held in the building that The Chicago Tribune calls home, the deal won support from 97 percent of votes cast..."
  4. ^ Dave Carpenter (Associated Press) (2007-12-21). "Tribune buyout, at $8.2 billion, closes in Chicago". Business (Chicago: The News Journal). Archived from the original on 2007-12-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20071223090732/http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071221/BUSINESS/712210329/1003/NLETTER01. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Co.'s $8.2 billion buyout closed Thursday December 20, 2007 after an 8½-month wait to secure final approval and financing, taking the ailing newspaper and TV company private under the control of real estate billionaire Sam Zell. At closing, former Clear Channel CEO Randy Michaels was named CEO of Interactive and Broadcasting. Michaels also oversees most of the Tribune papers."
  5. ^ "Tribune and Local TV to Form Broadcast Management Company" (Press release). Tribune Company. 2007-12-20. http://www.tribune.com/pressroom/releases/2007/12212007.html. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Company and Local TV have entered into a letter of intent to create a third-party broadcast management company which will provide shared services to all of the stations Local TV and Tribune Company own, respectively."
  6. ^ "Tribune to Acquire Real Estate from TMCT Partnership" (Press release). Tribune Company. 2008-01-31. http://www.tribune.com/pressroom/releases/2008/01312008.html. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Company today announced it will purchase real estate leased from TMCT, LLC, which includes properties used by the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant. The company received an option to purchase the real estate for $175 million through the 2006 restructuring of TMCT, LLC."
  7. ^ "Ed Wilson Named President of Tribune Broadcasting." (Press release). Tribune Company. 2008-02-04. http://www.tribune.com/pressroom/releases/2008/02042008.html. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Company today named broadcast veteran Ed Wilson as president of Tribune Broadcasting, overseeing the company's 23 television stations, Superstation WGN, Tribune Entertainment, and WGN Radio. His appointment is effective February 11."
  8. ^ "Tribune Completes Acquisition of Real Estate from TMCT Partnership." (Press release). Broadcasting and Cable. 2008-04-28. http://www.tribune.com/pressroom/releases/2008/04282008.html.html. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Completes Acquisition of Real Estate from TMCT Partnership."
  9. ^ "Cablevision Completes Newsday Buy from Tribune." (Press release). Broadcasting and Cable. 2008-04-28. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6582623.html. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Completes Acquisition of Real Estate from TMCT Partnership."
  10. ^ Helft, Miguel (September 15, 2008). "How a Series of Mistakes Hurt Shares of United". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/technology/15google.html. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
  11. ^ Tribune files for bankruptcy Chicago Breaking News. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  12. ^ LA Times article, 2009-11-14
  13. ^ October 27, 2009 8:59 AM (2009-10-27). "Cubs sale to Ricketts is complete". Chicagobreakingsports.com. http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2009/10/cubs-sale-to-ricketts-is-complete.html. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
  14. ^ "Tribune Chief Accepts Advice and Backs Out". New York Times. 2010-10-22. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/23/business/media/23tribune.html. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  15. ^ "Right of the Dial", 2008; ISBN 0-571-21106-2
  16. ^ Bankruptcy-Exit Plan Gets OK, TVNewsCheck, Associated Press, July 13, 2012
  17. ^ Announcement of Healthkey.com[dead link]

Further reading

External links