The Wall Street Journal had two interesting tidbits in its story about the Union-Tribune’s sale yesterday.

The Journal pinned the sale price at less than $50 million. The WSJ said:

The paper generated about $100 million in cash flow in 2004, according to people familiar with the paper’s finances, meaning the Union-Tribune could have been worth $1 billion based on valuations at the time. Now, the paper is close to break-even, these people say, as it has been battered by the collapse of newspaper classifieds.

And David Black, the Canadian media magnate who’s been advising the sale and will help chart the newspaper’s future, said staff reductions are in store. The WSJ says:

Mr. Black said he will have to cut costs to help offset the bleak newspaper revenue outlook. “In this case the paper hasn’t had [cuts] as of the sale process and a whole lot of other papers have,” Mr. Black said. “There’s some catch-up there.”

That’s revealing. The Union-Tribune has repeatedly cut its staff since 2006.

The newspaper had promised more layoffs earlier this year, though they never materialized.


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