Thursday, October 23, 2008

Message from Tribune COO Randy Michaels

Tribune COO Randy Michaels' memo to employees

Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2008 4:17 PM
Subject: Message from Randy Michaels/Making Progress

Today marks an important milestone at Tribune. This morning The Los
Angeles Times unveiled its redesign, the latest step in our efforts to
reinvent our newspapers for readers and advertisers. During the last
six months, all eight of our newspapers have changed the way they look
and they way they operate. This is a beginning, not an end-there is
still a lot to be done. But this was a massive undertaking and it is a
remarkable accomplishment to have come so far in such a short period of time. We've put together a gallery of pages from the newly redesigned papers on TribLink which you can see here. [Intranet links]

We're making a lot of progress in a lot of other areas, too.

Our newspapers are finding new ways of leveraging their production
operations to bring in additional revenue. Earlier today, the Sun
Sentinel announced it would expand its existing partnership with the
Palm Beach Post. Under an agreement that will be phased in between now and the end of the year, we'll print, package and provide transportation services for all of the Palm Beach Post's publications. At The Baltimore Sun we're printing and distributing the Washington Times in select areas around Baltimore. In Chicago, the Chicago Tribune has been distributing the Chicago Sun-Times since late last year.

Innovation on the editorial side is also helping create some unique new
ways of reaching advertisers. The Daily Press, for example, recently
carried a special insert on the port industry in Virginia and generated
more than $70,000 in revenue by bringing in new advertisers, including a
tugboat company.

And we're doing more with our newspaper websites. Taxonomy is enabling us to categorize information better and offer users more specialized content than ever before, organized in a more efficient fashion. We're getting more video on our sites, too, and figuring out new ways of using video to generate revenue. The Baltimore Sun just announced a partnership with the local CBS station, WJZ-TV, which will provide local news video to the newspaper's website. Under the arrangement, WJZ will sell advertising inventory within the video content-and the newspaper will get a cut of the revenue.

In broadcasting, our stations continue out-performing the industry.
Local direct new business revenue has increased every month and is up
318% year over year. Our television sales people are doing an outstanding job, and we're doing more local direct business than ever

WGN America is also having a very good year. Innovative packaging and
one-of-a-kind promotion are giving the cable network a boost and driving new revenue. Up next, a Halloween marathon of "The Munsters" hosted by Alice Cooper. Now that's television. You laugh...but the marathon has generated $600,000 in advertising and sponsorship revenue. And we're using the WGN America website to promote an online "Munsters" game conceived and built by Tribune Interactive's new Adver-gaming Team. You can see the Alice Cooper promo and find out more about the game by clicking here .

We're operating in a very tough environment, and while there is a lot of
negative news out there-about the economy and the media industry-we are making progress across the company. I know you are working harder than ever. People are stepping up with new ideas, taking the initiative, and providing leadership that gets things done.

As we move further into the fourth quarter, we're building momentum.
There is a lot left to do, and a lot of work underway, but I wanted to
take a moment to point out some of the positive things going on around
the company.

Thanks for your energy, passion and positive attitude.


SOURCE: Romenesko

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