Morning Media Newsfeed: Tribune Rebrands | Gannett to Split, Buy Cars.com

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Tribune Gets New Name Ahead of Split (TVSpy)
Tribune Company began operating under a new, but similar, name Monday: Tribune Media Company. The rebranding came as the broadcasting and publishing divisions of the 167-year-old company split. TVNewser Tribune Media Company includes Tribune Broadcasting, WGN America, Tribune Studios, Tribune Digital Ventures and Tribune Real Estate. Variety The overhaul comes with a new logo and corporate website. Tribune has labored under the cloud of bankruptcy and plunging ad revenues for years, leading to its fissure into two companies. Tribune’s papers, which include the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, will begin trading Tuesday as a new company, Tribune Publishing. It will be listed under the symbol TPUB on the New York Stock Exchange. It has been saddled with $350 million in debt and faces a cloudy future as revenues and readership of newspapers continue to decline. THR Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori has said the separation will allow investors to put money into either the broadcast or print assets of Tribune, or both. The spinoff is mindful of the split of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and 21st Century Fox. USA Today Tribune’s shareholders receive a quarter of a share of Tribune Publishing’s common stock for each Tribune share they own. After years of management turmoil and dealing with heavy debt, Tribune, based in Chicago, emerged from a four-year bankruptcy process in early 2013 with the intent to focus on broadcasting. In July 2013, Tribune announced early plans to spin off the publishing unit that would operate on its own without affecting the financial performance of its other, more profitable businesses.

Gannett to Spin Off Publishing Business (USA Today)
Gannett, the owner of USA Today, said Tuesday that it will create two publicly traded companies as it moves to separate its broadcasting and digital businesses from its publishing division. TVSpy Earlier this year, Gannett announced it was acquiring the six-station London Broadcasting portfolio for $215 million. That came just months after it completed the acquisition of the 20-station Belo TV station group for $2.2 billion. Belo itself had split its TV and newspaper businesses in 2007. THR The planned separation of the publishing business will take place via a tax-free distribution of Gannett’s publishing assets to shareholders. “The transaction will create two focused companies with increased opportunities to grow organically across all businesses as well as pursue strategic acquisitions,” the company said. Bloomberg Newspapers have steadily lost money and readership since hitting a sales peak in 2005. Classified advertising has been hardest hit, dropping by more than half between 2000 and 2008 to $9.9 billion, according to the Pew Research Center. ABC News / AP Gannett Co. said Tuesday that the publishing business will basically be debt free once spun off, with the broadcasting and digital businesses holding the existing debt. The publishing business will keep the Gannett name, while the broadcasting and digital company has yet to be named. Both companies will remain headquartered in Virginia. Bloomberg Gannett has also agreed to buy out the other companies that own Cars.com for $1.8 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. WSJ The business was put up for sale earlier this year, with hopes of generating a sale price of as much as $3 billion. The final deal values the site at $2.5 billion. One person familiar with Cars.com earlier this year estimated that it generates about $400 million to $500 million in revenue a year.

Former White House Press Secretary James Brady Dies at 73 (FishbowlDC)
James Brady, former White House press secretary for President Ronald Reagan, has died at the age of 73. TVNewser Brady was shot in the 1981 assassination attempt on the president. He was among four people shot that day. He was partially paralyzed in the attempt on Reagan’s life and required the use of a wheelchair for the rest of his life. NYT President Clinton awarded Brady the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor, in 1996, and in 2000, Clinton presided at the renaming of the room in which White House news briefings are held. It became the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room.