Tribune Co. Revenue, Profits Fall in Chapter 11

In its first five months under bankruptcy protection, Tribune Co. has seen its revenue fall by nearly a quarter and its profit margins cut by more than half compared to last year.

Citing Tribune Co.’s bankruptcy filing, a Morningstar equity analyst and its own calculations, Crain’s Chicago Business reported Monday that Tribune revenue had fallen 23 percent in the first five months of the year, while profit margins had declined to 8 percent from 19 percent in the first half of 2008. Tribune filed for bankruptcy reorganization last December.

Tribune said its operating receipts fell 14 percent between the beginning of the year and May 31. But the Chicago-based newspaper publisher and broadcaster remained cash-flow positive, taking in $112 more in cash than it spent during the five-month period, according to the account by Ann Saphir.

A Tribune spokesman told Crain’s that since going private in December 2007, the company has re-engineered old products and launched new ones, while expanding local news programming, “dramatically” reducing expenses and positioning Tribune “to succeed in the face of an extremely difficult ad environment and a worsening economy.”

Nielsen Business Media