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Tribune Co. Profit Plunges Sharply on Lower Broadcast Revenue, Print Ads

Parent company of the L.A. Times reports steep drop in income during three-month period

Beleaguered Tribune Co. issued another bruising financial report late Thursday, acknowledging a 61 percent income drop in its second quarter on lower broadcast revenue and declining newspaper ads.

The parent company of the L.A. Times also reported lower consolidated operating revenue and profit during the period ended June 30. Both of those yardsticks dropped double digits compared to the year-ago period.

But the net income sank lowest of all: a whopping 61 percent, from 170.8 million in second-quarter 2012 to $66.3 million in second-quarter 2013.

Also read: LA Times Hit By Layoffs As Profits Plunge 41% at Tribune

Tribune Co. president and CEO Peter Liguori acknowledged that the news was not good for the company, but tried to focus on the future.

"While our second quarter financial results reflect many of the same challenges faced by the other companies in our sector, we have made substantial progress strategically repositioning Tribune for long‐term growth."

"We have stabilized our publishing business and remain focused on the advantages of scale which will be generated by our pending acquisition of Local TV Holdings," Liguori added, referencing Tribune's $2.7 billion purchase of 19 Local TV television stations in July.

Also read: Tribune Company Buying Local Media Stations for $2.7B

Also in July, Tribune announced plans to spin off its publishing division and its eight newspapers, including the L.A. Times, into a standalone company.

The company's consolidated operating revenue declined 10 percent to $86 million. Much of the loss came from the broadcasting arm, which lost $66 million, or 20 percent, on lower copyright royalties. The beleaguered publishing division lost 4 percent, or $19 million, but the company acknowledged a sharp drop in newspaper print ads during the period.

Also read: OC Register Publisher Aaron Kushner: 'We're Still Actively Interested in Tribune' (Exclusive)

The company's consolidated operating profit decreased sharply as well — nearly 30 percent — from $125 million in second quarter 2012 to $90 million in second quarter 2013.

The company, which was mired in bankruptcy for several years, has sought buyers for some time to no avail. In June, OC Register publisher Aaron Kushner told TheWrap that his company was "still actively interested in Tribune."

Since then, however, the Koch brothers — other potential Tribune bidders — said that they are no longer interested in the company.