Posted by: Jon Fine on June 21, 2006
Not that the rules allow them to say much right now.
In that piece I identified a few properties that could, conceivably, fit Tribune’s definition of a non-core asset, since they’ve still got a few hundred million dollars worth of non-core assets to sell. Specifically, I mentioned the TV stations in Grand Rapids, Mi. and Harrisburg, Pa., and two newspapers: the Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Va., and the Morning Call in Allentown, Pa.
One of those papers has already contacted me, so to be perfectly clear (as I hope I was with the reporter): I am just a guy looking at a map of Tribune’s assets and past company statements about strategy, and I got no special insidery knowledge on what Tribune may or may not sell.
And also the Tribune Media Services syndicate could, conceivably, fit the bill of a non-core publishing asset.
I don’t think it would be especially smart to sell the Daily Press. It’s been relatively untouched by layoffs, which suggests the profit margins have stayed steady. And so it probably still throws off strong profit margins—much stronger than Tribune’s biggest papers—without Tribune management in Chicago having to worry a lot about it.
But a core asset for a company that’s talked about liking large markets and duopolies? No.