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Chicago Tribune braces for cost cutting

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 2, 2013 12:17PM

The Chicago Tribune will cut costs next year, even as its forecasts exceeded its financial plan this year, Publisher Tony Hunter told employees Wednesday in a memo.

“As is typical this time of year, we are in the midst of 2014 planning, working diligently to create opportunities for our company and employees next year. These plans will include cost reductions to offset revenue declines and investments in growth opportunities,” the memo states.

The memo outlines the Tribune’s strategic initiatives, including expanding on niche digital products and capitalizing on the digital audience and digital marketing services, according to the memo.

The memo follows news reports that the Tribune must offset a projected revenue decline of up to $100 million, primarily to make the print publications more attractive so they can be sold or spun off.

A $100 million budget cut could affect operations across Tribune Co. holdings, including the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, South Florida Sun Sentinel and the Morning Call, according to a published report.

Tribune CEO Peter Liguori said during a Town Hall staff meeting on Oct. 2 that to put a definitive price tag on any potential budget cuts would be premature.

Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman said Wednesday the company doesn’t comment on speculation.

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