TV Revenue Down 8% at Tribune

Company says it's due to lower cable copyright royalties, soft advertising demand
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Citing “an exceptionally difficult financial and economic environment,” Tribune Company reported a third quarter loss from continuing operations of $124 million, compared to income of $84 million in the same quarter a year ago. Tribune’s television operating revenues were down 8% for the quarter to $264 million. Television cash operating expenses were up 5% and operating cash flow was down 34%, compared to the third quarter last year.

“The decrease in television revenues in the third quarter of 2008 was due to lower cable copyright royalties and soft advertising demand, partially offset by station revenue share gains in most markets. The third quarter of 2007 included an additional $18 million of cable copyright royalties at Chicago and WGN Cable,” said Tribune in a statement.

Tribune also reported income from discontinued operations of $3 million for the quarter, compared with income from discontinued operations of $69 million in Q3 2007. Tribune’s operating revenues dropped 10% in the quarter, to $1 billion.

“We are operating in an exceptionally difficult financial and economic environment,” said Tribune Chairman/CEO Sam Zell. “The newspaper industry continues to see extraordinary declines in ad revenues, and Tribune is no exception. But, we continue to aggressively pursue our operating strategy, and to tightly manage the factors that are within our control. Internally, we have established momentum on developing new initiatives and our culture now reflects that focus and mindset."

Tribune has not announced the date for its conference call discussing third quarter results.

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