Tribune Reports Q4, Full-Year 2007 Losses

Tribune reported a loss from continuing operations of $78 million for the fourth quarter of 2007 compared with income of $233 million in the same quarter of 2006.

Tribune also reported full-year-2007 income from continuing operations of $55 million compared with $661 million in 2006.

Chairman and CEO Sam Zell said he sees ample growth opportunity amid a rough business climate.

"Despite the continued difficult operating environment and weakness in print revenue, we see significant opportunity within Tribune Co.," he said. "In our first 75 days, we've made a series of key leadership changes, launched a number of programs and projects to drive new revenue and initiated a fundamental shift in culture. In addition, we have begun a strategic review of certain Tribune assets to determine whether capital can be more effectively redeployed into our core operations or toward reducing our outstanding leverage."

Just Wednesday, Tribune announced that it was moving WSFL Miami into the South Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Tribune’s fourth-quarter-2007 operating revenues decreased 12%, or $180 million, to $1.27 billion. Operating cash flow decreased 44% to $214 million, while operating profit decreased 92% to $27 million.

The quarter had one less week than 2006’s fourth quarter.

Broadcasting and entertainment operating revenues for the quarter were down 11% to $316 million compared with the same quarter in 2006. Group cash operating expenses were down 1%, operating cash flow was down 30% to $83 million and operating profit dropped 33% to $70 million.

Television revenues decreased 9% for the fourth quarter to $297 million in Q4 2006, television operating cash flow was down 24% to $90 million and television operating profit slid 26% to $79 million.

For the full year 2007, which also had one less week than 2006, broadcasting and entertainment operating revenues decreased 2% to $1.4 billion, operating cash flow dropped 8% to $408 million and operating profit slid 9% to $357 million.

Television’s operating revenues for the full 2007 were off 4% to $1.14 billion, cash operating expenses were down 1%, operating cash flow declined 9% to $367 million and operating profit decreased 10% to $322 million.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.