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Online readership and ads overtake newspapers

(Charles Osgood/Chicago Tribune)

For the first time, online readership and advertising revenue has surpassed that of print newspapers.

Online advertising revenue in the United States is projected to overtake print newspaper ad revenue in 2010, according to the latest report, the State of the News Media, from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

The study also found that more people — 46 percent of Americans surveyed — said they get news online at least three times a week, versus 40 percent who said they get their news from newspapers and their companion websites. Get the full story »

Tribune likely bidder for Freedom Communications

Freedom Communications Inc. was expected to receive bids for its 100 newspapers and eight TV stations from a number of suitors before a Thursday deadline set by the company. Among firms considered likely to make bids for parts of Freedom were Tribune Co. and MediaNews Group Inc., as well as two Los Angeles-based private equity firms. Get the full story>>

JPMorgan e-mails show concerns about Tribune

JPMorgan Chase executives discussed downgrading their internal credit rating for Tribune Co. just hours after the media company completed a leveraged buyout the bank helped finance.

E-mails presented in federal court in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday show an executive for the bank thought a downgrade was required after the buyout. Get the full story »

Resolution hearing opens in Tribune Co. bankruptcy

WILMINGTON, Del. – The warring creditors in Tribune Co.’s bankruptcy case provided few surprises Monday as they fired their opening shots in litigation aimed at resolving a case that one lawyer said had come to resemble “water torture.” Get the full story »

Tribune bankruptcy nears finish line

After 27 months of legal wrangling, Tribune Co. and its creditors are finally headed into what could be the deciding chapter of the company’s tangled bankruptcy saga.

The case will enter what bankruptcy law practitioners call confirmation hearings Monday, and for the next two weeks U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey in Delaware will hear evidence from an army of lawyers arguing for and against two competing visions of how to restructure the Chicago-based media conglomerate.

Judge OKs class-action against Tribune ESOP trustee

Tribune Co. employees at the time of company’s 2007 leveraged buy-out are eligible to join a class action lawsuit against the ESOP trustee that represented their interests in the takeover by billionaire Sam Zell, a federal judge ruled Friday. Get the full story »

Tribune Co. reorganization plans draw new fire

Bloomberg News | The Robert R. McCormick Foundation, onetime one of the largest shareholders in Tribune Co., opposes the remaining two reorganization plans for the media giant, because neither would end lawsuits against shareholders, including the foundation, that made billions of dollars in the company’s leveraged buyout.

Apple rolls out digital subscription service

Apple is launching a long-awaited subscription service for magazines, newspapers, videos and music bought through its iTunes App Store.

The plan calls for publishers to set the price and length of subscription, marking a break from the previous practice of “newsstand sales” under which each issue of a magazine, for instance, would be bought separately. Get the full story »

Crain’s hires Jim Kirk for top editorial post

Crain’s Chicago Business and the Chicago Reader each announced the appointment of new top editorial executives on Monday.

Jim Kirk, who has been managing editor of the non-profit Chicago News Cooperative for the last nine months, is joining Crain’s as chief of editorial operations, beginning Feb. 24. The new top editorial post will have him overseeing Crain’s growing number of content-based businesses. The Chicago Reader reported Mara Shalhoup, editor of parent Creative Loafing’s alternative weekly in Atlanta, will be its next editor, effective Mar. 7.

AOL to acquire Huffington Post for $300M

The Huffington Post this morning. (Reuters)

AOL Inc. will buy Arianna Huffington’s influential website for $315 million, looking to the high-profile liberal pundit to rescue it from the dustbin of Internet history.

The move comes at a hefty premium. AOL is estimated to pay 32 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the Huffington Post, said Benchmark Co analyst Clayton Moran.

Similar content deals, such as Hellman & Friedman’s acquisition of Internet Brands in September 2010, typically go for eight to 12 times earnings, said Moran. Get the full story »

News Corp launches iPad newspaper at 14 cents/day

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, among the most ardent defenders of the traditional press, launched the first ever newspaper created solely for tablet devices like the iPad.

Murdoch, along with Apple executive Eddy Cue, introduced the Daily during a Wednesday event at the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan. Get the full story »

Zell tells Forbes he won’t miss Tribune Co.

Tower Ticker | The same day Tribune Co. reported an uptick in its business during 2010, Forbes Magazine posted an interview with Chairman Sam Zell in which the entrepreneur once more made it clear he won’t be sorry to say farewell to the Chicago-based media concern.

News Corp. to unveil iPad newspaper next week

News Corp. is now set to unveil the world’s first iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, in New York next Wednesday. Get the full story »

Tribune Co. revenue climbs 1%

Chicago-based Tribune Co. said Wednesday that operating cash flow at its two largest publishing units — the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune — was essentially flat in 2010 compared to 2009, while overall operating cash flow increased $140 million to $635 million.

“The past year showed substantial improvement over 2009,” Chandler Bigelow, Tribune Co.’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. Get the full story »

Ongo online subscription news service launches

A personalized news service funded by New York Times Co., Washington Post Co ., and Gannett Co. launched Tuesday in an attempt to get readers to pay for online news.

Ongo, which received $12 million in funding from the three newspaper publishers, delivers news from a variety of sources starting at $7 a month. Get the full story »