Tribune (TRB): Another Horrible Month. Desperately Awaiting saviour Zell

By the time Sam Zell finally closes his Tribune deal–assuming he can still raise the money–there may be little left to buy.  Tribune’s publishing revenue fell another 9% in July.

  • Advertising revenue fell 10% (a modest deceleration from June’s -11%)
  • Circulation revenue fell 5% (faster than at most other newspaper companies).
  • Online revenue rose about 17%, to $22 million, but is still only 7% of the business.
  • Local ads fell 6%
  • National ads fell 4% (another modest improvement vs. June’s -7%)
  • Classifieds plummeted 18% (same as June).

This rate of decline, combined with a credit crunch, make it likely that Zell is seriously reconsidering his bid for Tribune.  Tribune shareholders had better pray that he doesn’t.