Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Shorts

Who Owns the Media in Los Angeles
Tribune Co. Nationwide, the Tribune Co. owns 30 TV stations and 26 newspapers -— including the Los Angeles Times, which it purchased in a 2000 takeover of Times Mirror. Tribune also owns the local Los Angeles CW affiliate, KTLA-TV 5, thanks to a waiver from the FCC.

Los Angeles Times Building Is a Film Star
LOS ANGELES (Sept. 30) — David Geffen may or may not succeed in buying The Los Angeles Times. But his people have already tried the executive suite on for size.

The future of newspapers?
The LA Times is owned by the Tribune company, which is controlled by shareholders, who care about one thing above all else: the change in their stock price from one quarter to the next. This makes it possible for a very successful newspaper (which LAT was/is) with very healthy revenues and profits (which LAT had/has) to look like a weak performer. So the stockholders demand changes—ie increases in their stock price, ie increases in profits, ie decreases in operating costs, ie layoffs in the news room. Anyone can see that that may lead to an increase in stock prices from this quarter to the next, but not in a sustainable increase. But there it is.

The Tribune Co. Controversy
The Los Angeles Times is the largest newspaper in California and on the West Coast with a circulation of 905,107 Monday through Saturday, according to the most recent audited numbers. The paper’s storied history includes 37 Pulitzer Prizes since 1942.
For more than 100 years the paper was controlled and tied to the Chandler family, members of whom served as owners, editors and publishers.
In 2000, the Tribune Company gained control of the paper when Tribune acquired Times Mirror, the newspaper’s parent company.

Boards of Directors are directing again?!?
Unhappy representatives of the Chandler family on the Tribune Co. board have forced the media company to consider big strategic moves, including a breakup of the company. At H.J. Heinz Co., investor Nelson Peltz captured two board seats after urging Heinz to cut costs and boost marketing of its core ketchup brand. Heinz accelerated cuts and announced a restructuring that wasn't too different from Mr. Peltz's plan. He attends his first board meeting next month...”

Beer workers reject offer
Unionized bottlers and brewers at bankrupt Pittsburgh Brewing Co. voted unanimously Sunday to reject what the company has said would be its final contract offer.
The 93-0 vote by members of International Union of Electrical Workers-Communications Workers of America Locals 22B and 144B could prompt the struggling Lawrenceville brewer to again ask a federal bankruptcy judge to reject its labor pact and approve the wage and benefit concessions it seeks.
Pittsburgh Brewing previously asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge M. Bruce McCullough for such permission, but postponed a hearing on the matter after the two sides resumed negotiations.

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