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Tribune Co. cuts 240 jobs in third quarter

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 13, 2013 6:12AM



The Tribune Co. cut 240 jobs companywide in its latest fiscal quarter that ended Sept. 29 as revenues continued to decline, according to a financial filing issued Monday.

More job cuts appear on the way, with Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori saying in a statement that the results “did not meet our expectations,” despite the company’s progress on strategic initiatives.

Recent speculation has centered on a reported $100 million in cuts to prepare the publishing division for a spinoff.

The filing said the publishing division, which includes the Chicago Tribune, sustained most of the job cuts. The Tribune Co. has now cut 360 jobs companywide in the first nine months of the fiscal year, compared with 670 in the same period in 2012, the filing showed.

The broadcasting division took big hits of its own. WGN-TV and WGN Radio had among the largest advertising revenue declines of Tribune’s broadcast holdings, according to the filing.

The declines came amid “significantly lower ratings for baseball impacting revenue at both WGN-TV and WGN-AM,” according to the filing.

Just last week, the Chicago Cubs exercised an option to get out of their TV contract with WGN after next season, the Sun-Times confirmed.

The Tribune’s broadcast division revenues dropped 6 percent in the quarter, to $248 million. Tribune Co. owns 23 television stations.

The publishing division saw revenues decline 4 percent for the quarter.

Overall, Tribune Co. reported a 23 percent increase in its operating profit for the quarter, to $69 million, due to lower expenses.

The Tribune, which exited bankruptcy in January, reported a net income of $49.8 million for the quarter, compared with a $30.6 million loss last year, and $174 million in net income for the first nine months of the year, versus $239 million for the same period in 2012.

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