Bankrupt Tribune Co. Cash Flow Rebounds to Nearly $500 Million

By: E&P Staff

Thirteen months after filing for bankruptcy reorganization, Tribune Co. said Wednesday its cash flow in 2009 will approach $500 million. That’s double what Tribune had estimated coming into the year, and more than executives had estimated in November.

In a memo to employees, Tribune CEO Randy Michaels and COO Gerry Spector suggested strengthening newspapers had contributed to the higher cash flow.

“We’re still going through the numbers, but thanks to a stronger than expected performance by both the Broadcasting and Publishing Groups in the fourth quarter, it appears we will finish the year with close to $500 million in operating cash flow,” the memo said. “Given that we started the year like most media companies, feeling as though we would be fighting for our very survival, this is truly a remarkable achievement.”

The two thanked employees for their hard work, and keeping expenses low — but warned that tight times will continue: “We’ll still have to keep our expenses in check and be as efficient as possible, but we’re optimistic about where we’re headed.”

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