Inside these posts: Newspapers

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Wall Street Journal says print, digital revenue up

From The New York Times | The Wall Street Journal says its revenue climbed 17 percent in the period since June.

The news bucks the overall downward trend in the newspaper business. Even print advertising revenue, which has been in steep decline at most newspapers for the past few years, grew more than 21 percent at the Journal.

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New York Times expects 3Q loss, lower revenue

The New York Times Co. said Wednesday it expects to show a loss for the third quarter, with newspaper advertising still in decline.

Unlike the prior quarter, the Times Co. said that growth in digital ad sales will not make up for declines on the print side. Making matters worse, the company expects a drop in revenue from subscription and newsstand sales. Get the full story »

Sun-Times Media expands Blockshopper deal

Sun-Times Media, the owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and other newspapers, said Monday it has expanded its partnership to offer real estate news and information to online readers and advertisers. Get the full story »

Tribune Co. bankruptcy settlement breaks down

The settlement at the heart of Tribune Co.’s proposed reorganization plan has fallen apart, casting doubt on whether the Chicago-based media conglomerate can continue to control its own fate in bankruptcy court.

At a status hearing in Delaware Friday, Tribune Co. lead attorney James Conlan of Sidley Austin said the company planned to file unilateral amendments to its plan by next Friday and threatened to cast the case into extended litigation if the warring parties can’t come to an agreement.

“The debtor has tried mightily to bring the parties together,” Conlan said. “That hasn’t happened.” Get the full story »

PBGC takes over Sun-Times pensions

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has assumed control of seven pension plans covering workers and retirees of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, a move which is expected to cost the pension guarantor some $49 million. Get the full story »

Judge: Zell can’t be made to pay for pension losses

A U.S. District Judge in Chicago ruled Monday that Sam Zell can’t be made to pay for the company’s retirement fund losses because Tribune isn’t directly involved in the lawsuit. Zell was sued by workers who claimed that the billionaire caused the company’s employee stock ownership plan to lose value.

Tribune judge extends hearings, unseals report

Tribune Co.’s attempts to exit bankruptcy court will be delayed at least until October, but could extend even beyond that as the company and its creditors dive into a new round of negotiations aimed at finally settling the 20-month-old Chapter 11 case.

The delay is an acknowledgment that an examiner’s report about the propriety of the company’s 2007 leveraged buyout has upset a previous settlement in the case and forced the company to redouble efforts to win the approval from a range of dissident creditors. Get the full story »

Investment bank rejected Tribune deal in 2007

An investment bank declined to give Tribune Co. a clean bill of financial health in 2007 that would have cleared the way for Sam Zell’s $8.2 billion leveraged buyout of the media conglomerate, people familiar with the matter said.

Houlihan Lokey, a Los Angeles-based bank, rejected overtures from Tribune around March 2007 to provide what is known as a “solvency opinion” that would label Zell’s takeover financially sound, these people said. Houlihan believed the deal would saddle the newspaper-and-television company with too much debt, they said. Get the full story »

Tribune judge allows some access to report

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey signed an order providing certain key parties access to the full examiner’s report in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy case so they can evaluate its momentous conclusions before an Aug. 6 voting deadline.

He also indicated he might move the deadline out by a few days, but said he was determined not to disrupt the schedule for confirmation hearings on the Tribune Co. plan which are slated to begin Aug. 30.

Carey stopped short of ordering full public disclosure of the report. But he indicated he would prefer to make it public if parties in the case can resolve a series of confidentiality disputes raised by several big lenders to Tribune Co.’s ill-fated 2007 leveraged buyout, which was led by Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell. Get the full story »

Conrad Black posts bond, leaves prison

Conrad Black left a Florida prison Wednesday, after a Chicago federal judge ordered his release on a $2 million bond pending a review of his 2007 fraud conviction.

U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve ordered Black, who once controlled a media company that owned the Chicago Sun-Times, to appear in her courtroom at 12:30 p.m. Friday, to go over the conditions of his release. Get the full story »

L.A. County supervisors protest Times ad sections

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Thursday called on the Los Angeles Times to stop selling advertising sections designed to resemble news sections, saying that the ads hurt the paper’s credibility. The supervisors sent a letter to Sam Zell, chairman of the Tribune Co., which owns The Times (and also publishes the Chicago Tribune.) The letter came the same day the paper published a four-page ad for Universal Studios that wrapped around LATExtra, the newspaper’s breaking news section.

Tribune bankruptcy examiner gets more time

The judge in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy case has given an independent examiner more time to probe the media company’s 2007 leveraged buyout. The judge gave the examiner two more weeks, until July 26, to submit his report, and moved the deadline for creditors to vote on Tribune’s reorganization plan to Aug. 6.

Alison True out as Chicago Reader editor

Alison True, who started in the mailroom of the Chicago Reader in 1984, is out as its editor. True had been the Reader’s editor for 15 1/2 years and guided the free weekly through traumatic budget squeezes, trying to retain its essence despite ownership changes and diminished resources that required her to cut loose many of the paper’s best writers.

Tribune Media picks up slice of The Onion

Looking to wring money from funny, the Chicago Tribune Media Group will take over ad sales, printing and distribution of The Onion in the Chicago market through a new partnership announced Thursday.

Chicago Tribune Media Group promotes two execs

The Chicago Tribune Media Group, the Tribune Co. division that includes the Chicago Tribune, on Wednesday announced the promotion of newsroom executives Joycelyn Winnecke and Jane Hirt.

Chicago Tribune Editor Gerould Kern, a senior vice president, said in a memo to staff that Associate Editor Winnecke and Managing Editor Hirt each are adding the title of vice president after 22 months in their current posts in recognition of “their exceptional accomplishments and growing responsibility for the company.” Get the full story »