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.