NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Tribune Co. has set Aug. 4 as the date for the expected spinoff of its newspaper publishing business.
It first announced plans to separate its television and print businesses a year ago. The company has said the move will let one company take advantage of growth in broadcasting and allow the other to focus on newspapers, an industry where revenue has been declining for years. News Corp. and Time Warner Inc. have also recently split into separate publishing and entertainment companies.
The new company will be called Tribune Publishing Co. and include newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. Its shares are set to start regular trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “TPUB” on August 5.
Tribune, with 42 local TV stations and the WGN America cable channel, will operate under the name Tribune Media Co. That includes 16 TV stations it acquired via its $2.73 billion acquisition of Local TV Holdings late last year.
Shareholders of Tribune’s Class A and Class B common stock and warrants will receive a quarter of a share of Tribune Publishing for each Tribune share they own.
The Tribune Co. was founded in 1847 when the Chicago Tribune was first published, and grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s into a media conglomerate with TV stations and newspapers across the country. But the company’s newspapers have been hurt by an industrywide shift that has driven more advertisers to the Internet. The decline in print advertising, heavy debt and the economic downturn led Tribune to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2008. It emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2012.