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Asset write-down sends Tribune (LA Times, et al)to $4.5 billion loss (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Marketwatch.com ^ | August 13, 2008 | David B. Wilkerson

Posted on 08/13/2008 1:08:33 PM PDT by abb

Privately held Tribune Co. Wednesday reported a $4.5 billion loss in the second quarter, largely on a charge reflecting a decrease in the value of its assets, and said advertising revenue at its newspapers dropped 15%. Tribune has endured numerous financial difficulties since it was acquired by real-estate developer Sam Zell in an $8.2 billion deal that took the business private. The financing of his transaction involved the creation of an employee stock program that has incurred a significant amount of debt.

The company lost $4.53 billion in the latest three months, including a $3.8 billion charge on a decrease in the value of its assets stemming from steep losses in advertising revenue. A year earlier, Tribune earned $36.3 million.

Revenue fell 6% to $1.10 billion. Publishing revenue dropped 11% to $700.6 million, reflecting a 15% decline in advertising revenue. Classified advertising revenue, the traditional mainstay of newspapers, fell 26%, as real-estate revenue dropped 26% and help-wanted tumbled 33%.

National advertising revenue fell 12%, with particular weakness in the movie and telecom/wireless categories. Retail ad revenue dropped 8%. For nearly four years, newspapers have seen precipitous declines in print advertising revenue, as traditionally heavy buyers of print ads such as automakers and airlines experienced slumps of their own. More recently, a housing downturn severely hampered real-estate ad sales, and an increasing number of classified transactions have gone to Craigslist and other Web-based services that compete with newspapers.

Tribune's massive debt load has added to the problems it shares with the rest of the industry. To pay it down, Tribune has declared itself willing to sell many of its assets. The company recently agreed to sell a 97% stake in Long Island, N.Y., newspaper Newsday to Cablevision Systems (CVC) for $650 million.

snip

(Excerpt) Read more at marketwatch.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: advertising; dbm; newspapers; tribune
Ouch!
1 posted on 08/13/2008 1:08:34 PM PDT by abb
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To: 04-Bravo; aimhigh; andyandval; Arizona Carolyn; backhoe; Bahbah; bert; bilhosty; Caipirabob; ...

ping


2 posted on 08/13/2008 1:09:07 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb

http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/Business/Headlines/bizBIZ01081308.htm
News-Journal Corp. officially for sale

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/08/14/0814statesman.html
Owner to sell Austin American-Statesman

http://www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog/2008/08/media_rumor.aspx
D-G tightens belt UPDATE

http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/2008/08/papers-sad-decline-in-debts-grip.html
A paper’s sad decline in debt’s grip

http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/pulp/2008/08/franklin_post_workforce_reduce.php
Franklin: Post Workforce Reduced “Gracefully”; 36 More Job Losses Coming


3 posted on 08/13/2008 1:12:34 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: abb
How does one become a billionaire?

Ask Sam Zell. Purchase a dinosaur newspaper for $8 billion and wait two years for it to degrade to $1 billion.

4 posted on 08/13/2008 1:14:50 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: abb; tomkow6; All

OMG that got hurt


5 posted on 08/13/2008 1:16:38 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: abb

the don’t seem to learn.


6 posted on 08/13/2008 1:19:11 PM PDT by ken21 (people die and you never hear from them again.)
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To: abb

7 posted on 08/13/2008 1:20:08 PM PDT by Petronski (The God of Life will condemn the Chinese government. Laogai means GULAG.)
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To: abb

http://weblogs.jomc.unc.edu/talkingbiznews/?p=5331
Staffs cut at two Florida business desks

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003838700
Houston, San Antonio Dailies Discuss Joint Feature Production

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003838712
Tribune Takes Huge Q2 Loss on $3.8 Billion Write-Down

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/playback/2008/08/nbcs_unreality_show.html?hpid=artslot
NBC’s Unreality Show

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d03a0d36-689c-11dd-a4e5-0000779fd18c.html?nclick_check=1
Media left reeling as the crunch starts to bite into earnings and deal activity

http://www.portfolio.com/executives/features/2008/08/13/Profile-of-NBC-Universals-Zucker
Zuckervision

http://www.jackmyers.com/commentary/jackmyers-think-tank/26385349.html
Online Publishers Turning to Video, Marketing Enhancements and Consumer Insights to Offset Ad Network Pricing Impact, Says New IAB/Bain Report


8 posted on 08/13/2008 1:22:16 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

I believe Sam Zell put up around $250 million of his own money for the purchase — the remaining $7.75 billion is done with borrowed cash.

If it craters, he’s not out all that much cash (well, not that much by Sam Zell standards) and the bond holders will be left holding the bag.

Jack


9 posted on 08/13/2008 1:32:17 PM PDT by JackOfVA
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To: JackOfVA

The figure I saw for him was like maybe $350 million. He got one of the Greenspuns to put up $150 or so.


10 posted on 08/13/2008 2:02:18 PM PDT by abb ("What ISN'T in the news is often more important than what IS." Ed Biersmith, 1942 -)
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To: JackOfVA
I believe you are right. I also think they raided the employee's pension fund. If so the workers are in hoc to the lenders.
11 posted on 08/13/2008 2:05:27 PM PDT by Uncle Hal
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To: Uncle Hal

Ya gotta love Sam Zell - he is stirring the pot in the world of newspapers. They hate him and he doesn’t give a damn.


12 posted on 08/13/2008 2:16:41 PM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

Tell me (tell me)
How to be (how to be)

A billlllllllllllllllllliiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooonnnnnnaaaaaairrree


13 posted on 08/13/2008 2:19:16 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat
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To: abb


14 posted on 08/13/2008 3:04:56 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - CTHULHU/NYARLATHOTEP'08 = Nothing LESS!!!)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi
Purchase a dinosaur newspaper for $8 billion and wait two years for it to degrade to $1 billion.

Zell didn't put up $8 billion of his own money.

15 posted on 08/13/2008 4:46:06 PM PDT by glorgau
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