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Friday, July 20, 2007

Heard Any Good News About Tribune Lately?

The bad news regarding the poor performance in every area the Tribune Company controls was once a weekly news item. The frequency this week has become a daily occurrence, which causes many at the newspaper to close their eyes to any news about our company, for fear of the outcome.

Sam Zell’s Tribune Co. fire sale was originally traded at 99 cents on the dollar in May. On Monday the deal was trading at 95 cents on the dollar, and most likely will edge a bit lower this Monday.

Investor confidence is ebbing, especially this week, after decreases in advertising sales across the board, which were larger than anticipated.

In May, Tribune's publishing ad revenues were down almost 12% on continuing weakness in classifieds and a nearly 18% decline in national ads. Meanwhile, circulation revenue fell 6.2% and broadcasting revenue slumped 11%.

The two-part Sam Zell Tribune Co. sale is very unlikely to succeed as the cash flow continues to tumble in the direction that cannot be slowed.

Tribune Stock price $28.91 down .65 cents or 2.20% today.

There could be a silver lining to all of this, once the current deal collapses, the company will most likely be sold off in parts to satisfy the creditors. Which leads to the question of possible buyers of the Los Angeles Times, the flagship of the Tribune Company, and largest moneymaker of all the newspapers the Tribune owns

Eli Broad and Ron Burkle made an offer, which was rejected by the Tribune, to purchase just the LAT, and also the entire Tribune Company at the last minute.

David Geffen’s offer of two billion dollars for the Times is certainly looking like the outcome of this current Tribune mess.

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