Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Layoffs Hit Tribune Newsroom

CHICAGO (CBS) ― The Chicago Tribune is in the midst of another round of layoffs.

More than a dozen newsroom employees were cut on Wednesday, including both of the New York-based correspondents for the newspaper. They will have to clean out their desks by the end of the week.

More jobs are expected to be cut next month.

Last month, Tribune Co. announced that it had lost $121.6 million for the third quarter this year as newspaper advertising revenue fell.

The privately held company's net income in the same quarter a year earlier was $152.8million. Revenue fell 10.5 percent to $1.04 billion, from $1.16 billion a year ago, the company said.

Publishing revenue fell 13 percent to $654 million, as advertising revenue dropped 19percent, and total paid circulation fell 7 percent from a year ago to 2.2 million from Monday to Friday.

The company was taken private last December in an $8.2 billion buyout led by real estate mogul Sam Zell. It still must report its results to comply with bondholder agreements.

Tribune said its debt load increased to $11.8 billion at the end of the third quarter, up from $9.4 billion a year ago.

In September, the Tribune unveiled a redesigned newspaper that is less costly to produce, with a brighter, bolder product with fewer sections on narrower newsprint. The Metro and Business sections were eliminated, and the paper was reduced to three sections -- front page, Sports and Live!, an arts and entertainment section that supplants Tempo.

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