Tribune Company Cuts 700 Jobs as Part of Restructuring Plans

Tribune Company
The facade of the Chicago Tribune building

Tribune Company announced recently that the publishing firm will cut 700 jobs as part of the restructuring plans currently being implemented. The US publishing giant and owner of The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times said through a memo to all its employees that 700 jobs will be affected as the company tries to consolidate its non-editorial functions.

The measure as described by chief executive, Peter Liguori, is also meant to focus on the other opportunities available at the moment as well as minimize operating expenses. Liguori said that it is never an easy job letting go of people especially those that have contributed much to the growth of the company. For practical purposes, the company must also align itself to what the market demands and grab its corresponding opportunities, Liguori added.

The memo also made clear that the staff reductions will mostly come from “non-reader-facing functions” or those belonging to operations. Reporters and editors on the other hand are safe at the moment. The job cuts which will take effect in January of next year represent 6% of the 11,000 work force of the Tribune Company.

Executive Movements

In an effort to consolidate the Tribune Company’s operation, several key personnel were promoted and given responsibility in the newly organized departments.

Chicago Tribune’s current senior vice president of advertising, Bob Fleck, will now become the new vice president of advertising for the consolidated department. The Times current executive vice president, Bill Nagel, will take on the new role as executive vice president of marketing of the consolidated department. Included in Nagel’s new responsibilities are supervising the consumer marketing and circulation operations, as well as managing market research and branding. Also given new roles in the restructuring is Bill Adee, who will take charge of the company’s digital operations.

The Company is Still Profitable, Liguori Clarifies

Tribune Company reported a profit of around $50 million in their third quarter statement this year. Those profits came mostly from massive cost cutting efforts after newspaper advertising took a plunge. Historically, print advertising is the company’s cash cow and that of the newspaper industry as a whole. Results of this cost-cutting is the 7% decrease ($47 million) in operating expenses making the total expenses $626 million.

Investing for the Future

Based on the plan, the Tribune Company intends to focus more and invest in the digital arena, and strengthen its stake in television. As part of its desire to transform into a broadcast company, the Tribune paid $2.7 billion to acquire 19 local television stations in July.

The company also owns and manages The Baltimore Sun;,The Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Hartford Courant of Connecticut, The Daily Press of Hampton Roads, Virginia, the Orlando Sentinel as well as the Morning Call of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Aside from these publishing interests, the company operates web-based entities like careerbuilder.com, cars.com and apartments.com.

Liguori’s announcement came in the aftermath of surviving bankruptcy. After four years of court supervision, the company will emerged from bankruptcy on December 31. The expected 700 job cuts and the other restructuring plans being implemented at the Tribune Company will hopefully facilitate the transition into digital news provider of  and make the company more competitive in today’s world of electronic media.

By Roberto I. Belda

Los Angeles Times

Business Standard

nytimes.com

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