Net income plunges 61.2% and revenue slides 10.5% at Tribune
Advertising revenue also declined $17 million in the quarter, primarily at WGN and WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City. Tribune says WPIX continues to be impacted by the Cablevision blackout last year and WGN’s performance has been impacted by lower sports revenue. Retransmission and carriage fees were up 15% for the quarter.
According to Los Angeles Times reporter the ongoing decline of newspaper ad revenue has cast a shadow over the entire company. Tribune has announced plans to spin off its eight daily newspapers into a separate company. Doing so would likely raise the value of the company's television, radio and Internet properties.
The company emerged from bankruptcy at the end of last year, and it has been widely reported that its board is interested in selling the publishing unit, which includes the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. Several potential suitors have expressed interest in The Times, including Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., Dodgers controlling owner Mark Walter, Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner and local philanthropist and businessman Eli Broad.