CHICAGO — Tribune Co. said Monday that revenue fell in the third quarter but it turned a profit as it spent less on salaries and newsprint. The owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and 23 TV stations also dealt with big costs a year ago related to its exit from bankruptcy.
CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement that the company was pleased to have made progress on key strategic initiatives in the quarter, but the financial results “did not meet our expectations.”
He said the company is trying to make its broadcasting stations grow profitably and complete its $2.73 billion purchase of Local TV Holdings and its 19 TV stations. The company said it continues to plan to spin off its publishing business, which contains eight daily newspapers, by mid-2014.
Net income came to $49.8 million, or 50 cents per share, in the three months through Sept. 29, reversing a loss of $30.6 million a year ago. The company emerged from a four-year stint under bankruptcy protection last December, and its reorganization costs fell to $2 million from $139 million a year ago.
The company doesn’t have comparable per-share results from a year ago, when it was still in bankruptcy protection.
Revenue fell 5 percent to $695 million.
Broadcasting revenue from TV stations including WGN-TV in Chicago and WPIX-TV in New York fell 6 percent to $248 million. Advertising declined 4 percent to $198 million due to lower audience ratings and a weaker market for last-minute national TV ads.
Publishing revenue fell 4 percent to $446 million as advertising sales fell 7 percent to $245 million. Circulation revenue rose 3 percent to $106 million.
The company cut 240 jobs, mostly in publishing, in the quarter.