Tribune Ad Revenue Down $111 Million

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By: E&P Staff

The Tribune Co. reported a Q3 loss of $124 million from continuing operations compared with income of $84 million for the same period last year.

Operating revenue at the company fell 10% to $1 billion in Q3. Operating expenses grew 6%. Operating profit plummeted 83% to $37 million.

Interest expense related to continuing operations grew to $232 million from $175 million in Q3 2007. At the end of Q3, Tribune’s debt was $11.8 billion; at the end of the same period last year, it was $9.4 billion. The company cited the increase due to ?financing the going-private transaction? completed at the end of 2007.

?We are operating in an exceptionally difficult financial and economic environment,? Sam Zell, chairman and CEO of Tribune, said in a statement. ?The newspaper industry continues to see extraordinary declines in ad revenue and Tribune is no exception. But, we continue to aggressively pursue our operating strategy, and to tightly manage the factors that are within our control.?

At Tribune?s publishing division, operating revenue declined 13%. Operating expenses increased 6% to $640 million. Operating cash flow was down 91% to $13 million.

Advertising revenue plunged 19% or $111 million in Q3. Retail advertising revenue shed $24 million or 10% — preprint revenue decreased 15%. National advertising fell 21% or $30 million. Classified revenue was down $58 million or 30%.

Interactive revenue slipped 7% or $4 million due to declines in classified advertising, which could not offset gains in retail and national.

Circulation revenue dropped 2%.

For moreon Tribune’s results go to Fitz & Jen.

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