Cable Company To Acquire Kearns-Tribune p. 37

By: M.L. STEIN THE KEARNS-TRIBUNE Corp., owner of the Salt Lake Tribune and four other newspapers, plans to merge with TeleCommunications Inc. (TCI), the nation's biggest TV cable company, depending on its stock-owner approval, the newspaper company announced
April 22.
The merger already has been approved by TCI directors, the Tribune reported. The paper said Kearns-Tribune's total worth is estimated at more than $600 million. The merger was described as a tax-free reorganization in which all Kearns-Tribune stock will be exchanged for TCI common stock. Most of Kearns-Tribune stock is owned by members of the Kearns and McCarthey families. The next largest shareholders are the 170 Tribune employees under a stock-ownership plan.
Besides the statewide Tribune, Utah's largest newspaper, Kearns-Tribune also owns dailies in Moscow, and Lewiston, Idaho; Washington state and Nevada.
Tribune publisher Dominic Welch said there are two advantages for Kearns-Tribune in the deal: It would provide the Tribune with a strong media partner for the 21st century and "position the Tribune to protect its profitability whatever the mode of home delivery of newspaper-generated news and advertising."
TCI's cable operations in Utah include franchises in Salt Lake City, Provo-Orem, Park City, Moab, Ogden and Price. The state's largest cable-TV provider, TCI numbers 210,000 subscribers.
Welch, who is one of the owners of Kearns-Tribune, said management will continue to have complete authority for editorial content of its newspapers. "There will be no change in management, personnel, editorial policies, philosophical direction or day-to-day operations because of the merger," he stated.
Under the agreement, Welch noted, if TCI, at any time, wants to divest itself of the Tribune, Salt Lake Tribune Publishing Co. will have first rights to buy it.
He added that the Tribune, whose current circulation is 130,228 daily and 163,112 Sunday, will have no operational connection with TCI of Utah.
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?copyright Editor & Publisher- April 26, 1997.


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