Earnings: Tribune Loses $124 Million In Q3; Severance, Writedowns Take Heavy Toll

This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
Tribune CEO Sam Zell's entry in the understatement of the week contest: "We are operating in an exceptionally difficult financial and economic environment." True, but Tribune's problems stretch back further and go deeper than backlash from the current economy. The company reported a Q3 loss of $124 million Monday, compared with earnings of $84 million for the same period last year. Compared with Q307, revenues declined 10 percent, to $1 billion, while operating cash flow dropped 67 percent year over year.  But Zell isn't understating anything when he talks of how aggressively Tribune is moving, as evidenced by the $45 million charge for severance and termination benefits. Nearly all of that went to reducing publishing headcount; overall, the company cut the equivalent of 1,300 full-time positions. 

-- Advertising:  Publishing advertising revenues slid 19 percent ($111 million). As part of that, interactive revenues dropped 7 percent ($4 million) "due to a decline in classified advertising, partially offset by increases in retail and national advertising."

-- CareerBuilder: Tribune reported a $79 million gain on the Q3 sale of its 10 percent interest in CareerBuilder to Gannett (NYSE: GCI) for $135 million.

More details in the earnings release. The privately held company promises a conference call before the end of the year. 


By Staci D. Kramer

Popular on CBS News

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download