Tribune's 'demons' *

From a story on the Tribune Co. in the current Business Week, out of the Chicago bureau, headlined "Wrestling With Trib Co.'s Demons:

Dennis J. Fitzsimons has had better months. First, the normally genial chief executive of Tribune Co. had to explain troubling staff cuts at the Los Angeles Times, where a clutch of Pulitzer Prizes couldn't stave off an unexpected slump in ad growth. Then came the nasty circulation scandal at the company's fast-growing Spanish-language national tabloid, Hoy, and Long Island-based Newsday. Finally, a Philadelphia appeals court tossed into limbo the right of FitzSimons' company to own both TV stations and newspapers in such crucial spots as Los Angeles and New York. And all that was just in June.

There's also still that not-neglible question of whether the Tribune faces a huge tax burden — as in $600 million — left over from when it acquired Times Mirror.

* Thursday update: Tribune shares dropped on news that the company's quarterly profit fell by "more than half" and that more circulation cooking at Newsday and Hoy has been revealed. Reuters.


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