U.S. News

Tribune Considering Self-Help Plan: WSJ


Newspaper and television company Tribune is leaning away from accepting any external takeover offers and instead opting for a restructuring it would do on its own, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

The self-help plan, which comes more than four months after Tribune put itself on the auction block, is widely expected to involve spinning off the company's broadcast division and borrowing money to pay out a one-time cash dividend to shareholders, the paper reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Those same people said Tribune's board is expected to discuss the structure of the plan at a meeting early this week, the Journal reported, noting that a final decision has not yet been made and that it is possible the company will choose a different option.

Sells New York Spanish Language Daily

Separately, Tribune said on Monday that it will sell the New York edition of Spanish-language newspaper Hoy to ImpreMedia.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter, Tribune said in a statement.

"Although Hoy New York made good progress over the last year, we did not see a path to profitability in this market," said Tribune Publishing President Scott Smith.

Tribune will continue to publish Hoy in Los Angeles and Chicago as well as weekly Spanish-language papers in Orlando and southern Florida.

ImpreMedia owns Spanish-language publications in the United States, according to its Web site, including El Diario/La Prensa in New York, La Opinion in Los Angeles and La Raza in Chicago.

Tribune, which publishes the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, is considering several bids for its newspapers and television stations that could lead to its breakup.

The company also has said it is trying to cut costs as it deals with falling circulation and weak advertising trends affecting the entire U.S. newspaper industry.

In a sign of that cost-cutting, Tribune said that the Chicago and Los Angeles editions of Hoy will be more closely aligned with its English-language papers in those cities.

Hoy's acting publisher, Javier Aldape, will serve as general manager and editor of the Los Angeles edition, and will oversee shared editorial content in both editions, Tribune said.

A Tribune spokesman was not immediately available for comment.