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Tribune Co. files for newspaper publishing spinoff

The Chicago Tribune 435 N. Michigan Avenue. | Sun-Times File Photo

The Chicago Tribune at 435 N. Michigan Avenue. | Sun-Times File Photo

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Updated: December 10, 2013 1:25AM



Tribune Co. forged ahead with plans to spin off its newspaper publishing into a separate business Monday by filing preliminary paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The media company, which owns eight daily newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Baltimore Sun, plans to hold on to only 1.5 percent of its publishing unit.

The remaining 98.5 percent will be distributed to existing shareholders, according to the 166-page SEC Form 10-12B filed Monday, revealing the company’s intentions to issue a new class of stock through a spinoff.

Dubbed Tribune Publishing Co., the spinoff is planned for the first six months of 2014 and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange, according to the filing.

Although Steve Berns was named president of Tribune Co. publishing in November, he will not head the spinoff company, according to the filing. It was not disclosed who will run Tribune Publishing Co. or who will sit on its board of directors.

Tribune Co. revealed its plans to spin off its publishing business and focus on expanding its television business in July.

In November, the media company announced it would be cutting 700 jobs – about 6 percent of the publishing workforce – as part of the restructuring, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

According to the Tribune Co.’s last financial report, the first nine months of the fiscal year saw revenues for the company’s publishing division drop 8 percent, or $62 million, compared to the same time period in 2012.

Email: arezin@suntimes.com

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