Tribune Company’s earnings for the quarter ending Sept. 29 were not as dire as last quarter’s double-digit income drop, but they showed that the company that emerged from bankruptcy less than a year ago still has work to do.
“While we are pleased with the progress we have made on key strategic initiatives in the third quarter, our financial results in the period did not meet our expectations,” President and CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement along with the earnings report released Monday. “We are taking targeted actions to position our broadcasting stations for profitable growth and look forward to consummating the pending acquisition of Local TV.”
Tribune purchased Local TV’s 19 television stations for $2.7 billion in July, the same month it announced plans to spin off the company’s publishing division, which oversees its eight newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.
Though the company posted an operating profit of $69 million, up from last year’s $56 million, this was the result of decreased operating expenses (down $47 million, or 7 percent) rather than increased revenues. The broadcast and publishing division revenue declined 6 and 4 percent, respectively. The drops were blamed on declining ad revenue in both mediums. Combined, the divisions earned $695 million in revenue.
Last quarter, Tribune’s operating profit was $90 million.