Earnings: Tribune Swings To Loss In Q4

This story was written by David Kaplan.
Tribune Company's Q4 posted a loss from continuing operations of $78.8 million versus a profits of $239 the year before, continuing operations of $78 million for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with income from continuing operations of $233 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. For the full year 2007, Tribune reported income from continuing operations of $55 million compared with $661 million in 2006. For the full year, Tribune's income from continuing operations were $55 million compared with $661 million in 2006, a 91.7 percent drop. The company did not break out digital numbers.

-- Meanwhile, the publishing division saw Q4 ad revenues fall 15 percent, or by $132 million from same period the year before. Publishing's operating revenues for the quarter were down 13 percent to $952 million, or $140 million from 2006.

-- The company's poor performance was attributed to a series of pre-tax charges. In a statement, Sam Zell, the company's new chairman and CEO, tried to put a confident face on the challenges and how his recent takeover will lead to a turnaround: "Despite the continued difficult operating environment and weakness in print revenue, we see significant opportunity within Tribune Company. In our first 75 days, we've made a series of key leadership changes, have launched a number of programs and projects to drive new revenue, and have initiated a fundamental shift in culture. In addition, we have begun a strategic review of certain Tribune assets to determine whether capital can be more effectively redeployed into our core operations or toward reducing our outstanding leverage." more to come

Earnings release | Tables (PDF)

By David Kaplan