Nothing has changed, Tribune Company CEO Peter Liguori says in an email to staffers today: "No decision to sell our publishing assets is imminent." All the speculation about this or that potential buyer of the Los Angeles Times and the other papers "has been and is premature." Tribune might sell the papers, and might not. Here's the email:
From: Peter Liguori
Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 1:02 PM
Subject: Our strategic review process
There's been a lot of noise recently about the possible sale of our newspapers and speculation on who the interested parties might be. From the get go, such speculation has been and is premature. A sale transaction is only one of our possible strategic options, and there are many others.
Such speculation is understandable, as over the past several weeks we have received a great deal of unsolicited interest in our publishing businesses, which says a lot about the strength of our brands, the outstanding journalism you deliver, and the talent and dedication of each of you.
I’ve promised that we will be as transparent as possible about the strategic review, so I want to get you up to speed on where we are now.
First and most important, thanks to your hard work and innovation, our newspapers are performing well and we’re ahead of our 2013 financial plan. We’re delivering compelling journalism, which drives readership, circulation and advertising. Our sales force’s creative, performance-oriented advertising programs are delivering results that are above expectations. Finally, we’re engaged in thoughtful, efficient business practices and managing our publishing operations better than ever.
As we’ve discussed at our employee town hall meetings, we will continue exploring all strategic options to maximize shareholder value, including retaining and operating our publishing assets. The process is ongoing and no decision to sell our publishing assets is imminent.
An important element in maximizing value, of course, is continuing to do the incredible job you’ve been doing since the start of the year—delivering great content, expanding our reach, and developing new products. The Board of Directors and the leadership team is extremely grateful for everything you’ve enabled us to accomplish so far.
So to sum up: still no evidence that Tribune is even considering a sale of its papers to the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Austin Beutner or Nikki Finke. I just threw that last one in there for yucks.
By the way, Ry Cooder was a guest with Jon Wiener today on "The Four O'Clock Report" on KPFK to do the song he wrote and sang for yesterday's anti-Koch brothers protest in downtown Los Angeles.