Newish Tribune owner Sam Zell doesn’t own a public company, but he does have a lot of debt. Which is presumably why he held the equivalent of an earnings call today to provide an update on the business. It’s not going well.
Zell reported a double-digit decline in print revenue in Q1, which he said was primarily due to the vaporizing classified ad business. As a result, he said, more job cuts and asset sales are in the offing. Zell, via Editor & Publisher:
When we got into this, our goal was to keep everything together, and to preserve the ownership of all the assets. The significant erosions of the first quarter has certainly put that plan into some question, and we are forced to consider the divestiture of some of our assets.
Just what does Sam want to sell? Beyond the Cubs and Wrigley Field, he wouldn’t say. Asked about the fate of Newsday, long rumoured on the block, Zell said he’d “reached no conclusion.”
EVP Randy Michaels said TV is looking a bit brighter, especially Tribune’s Fox affiliates.
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