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Thursday, Feb 2, 2023

Tribune Co. Profit Beats Estimates

Tribune Co., publisher of the Los Angles Times and other newspapers, said Thursday that second-quarter earnings more than doubled from a year ago, as cost controls and favorable accounting compensated for weaker advertising dollars and a 2.3 percent decline in revenue.

The Chicago media company reported net income of $233.4 million (73 cents per diluted share) for the third quarter ended June 26, compared with $96.4 million (29 cents) for the like period a year earlier. Revenue fell 2.3 percent to $1.46 billion from $1.5 billion.

Analysts had expected earnings to be 58 cents per share on revenue of $1.47 billion.

The company said second quarter results included a gain of 13 cents per diluted share, while results one year earlier included a loss of 24 cents per diluted share.

Newspaper advertising revenue fell 1 percent for the quarter to $1 billion, hurt by lower revenue from Newsday, which had to drop ad rates in September after a scandal involving a circulation misstatement.

Tribune circulation revenue dipped 9 percent to $149 million from $165 million, due to volume drops at each of its newspapers. Classified ad revenue grew 6 percent, boosted by increases in help-wanted and real estate ads. National ad revenue at the Los Angeles Times was down 4 percent, while help-wanted ad revenue rose 9 percent.

Revenue from Tribune’s broadcasting and entertainment business slipped 6 percent to $423 million from $450 million a year earlier. Television revenue was down 9 percent to $335 million from $368 million, due to what the company described as an “uneven advertising environment.”

The company also blamed the drop on impact from the rollout of “Local People Meters” from Nielsen Media Research Inc., which many broadcasters say undercount minority groups.

Tribune shares were up 1.1 percent to $35.78 in midmorning trading Thursday.


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