Tribune posts third quarter loss of $121.6 million

The Tribune company has reported a big third quarter loss of $121.6 million due to decline in advertising revenue caused by economic slowdown, restructuring charges and a steep rise in interest costs. Operating revenues were down 10 per cent to $1 billion.

The Chicago based newspaper, which owns The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Baltimore Sun and 23 television stations, among other properties as well as the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, had posted a profit of $84 million on a net income of $152.8 million for the same quarter, a year earlier.

"We are operating in an exceptionally difficult financial and economic environment," said Tribune chairman-CEO Sam Zell in a statement. "The newspaper industry continues to see extraordinary declines in ad revenues, and Tribune is no exception," he added.

Last quarter it had reported a $4.5 billion loss, largely on a charge reflecting a decrease in the value of its assets, and advertising revenue had dropped 15 per cent. (See: Tribune publisher declares $4.5 billion Q2 loss on declining ad revenues

Tribune saw a 13 per cent decline in publishing revenues to $654 million compared to last year. Advertising revenues declined by 19 per cent or $111 million, compared with the year earlier. Its interactive revenues declined 7 per cent to $4 million.

The biggest ad declines came in the sectors which bore the brunt of the economic downturn -  retail outlets, furniture and hardware stores and department stores.