Last updated
Tribune Publishing Company
Traded as NYSE: TPCO
Russell 2000 Component (NASDAQ:  TPCO)
ISIN US89703P1075
Industry Newspapers and commuter tabloids
Genre Publishing
Founded June 10, 1847 (1847-06-10)
(original founding, as the Chicago Daily Tribune)
August 4, 2014 (2014-08-04)
(as Tribune Publishing Company)
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois , United States
Key people
  • Justin Dearborn
  • (Chairman and CEO)
  • Timothy P. Knight
  • (President)
  • Terry Jimenez
  • (CFO)
  • Julie Xanders
  • (EVP, General Counsel, Secretary)
RevenueDecrease2.svg$1.60 billion USD (2016) [1]
Decrease2.svg$53.11 million USD (2016)
Decrease2.svg$6.54 million USD (2016)
Total assets Increase2.svg$686.5 million USD (2016)
Total equity Decrease2.svg$6.2 million USD (2016)
Number of employees
8,058 (2016)
Parent Tribune Company
(1861–2014) [2]

Tribune Publishing (formerly Tronc, Inc.) [3] is an American newspaper print and online media publishing company based in Chicago, Illinois. The company's portfolio includes the Chicago Tribune , the New York Daily News , the Hartford Courant , the Orlando Sentinel , Ft. Lauderdale's Sun-Sentinel , and The Baltimore Sun . It also publishes several local newspapers in these metropolitan regions, which are organized in subsidiary groups. It is the nation's third-largest newspaper publisher (behind Gannett and The McClatchy Company), with eleven daily newspapers and commuter tabloids throughout the United States.

United States federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Newspaper scheduled publication containing news of events, articles, features, editorials, and advertising

A newspaper is a periodical publication containing written information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background.

Publishing process of production and dissemination of literature, music, or information

Publishing is the dissemination of literature, music, or information. It is the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning originators and developers of content also provide media to deliver and display the content for the same. Also, the word "publisher" can refer to the individual who leads a publishing company or an imprint or to a person who owns/heads a magazine.


Incorporated in 1847 with the founding of the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Publishing operated as a division of the Tribune Company, a Chicago-based multimedia conglomerate, until it was spun off into a separate public company in August 2014.

Tribune Media Company is an American conglomerate headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, United States.

A corporate spin-off, also known as a spin-out, or starburst, is a type of corporate action where a company "splits off" a section as a separate business.

On June 20, 2016, the company adopted the name tronc, short for "Tribune online content". [4] Its principal shareholder, with a 17.9% stake, [5] is the American business magnate Michael W. Ferro, Jr. In 2016 The New York Times described him as being "one of the country’s most significant and unpredictable media moguls". [6] In 2018, Tronc announced that it would sell its California papers, including the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union-Tribune and other smaller titles in the California News Group to an investment firm headed by Patrick Soon-Shiong for US$500 million. [7] [8] [9] The sale closed on June 18, 2018. [10] In October 2018, the company renamed itself Tribune Publishing. [11]

Business magnate entrepreneur who has achieved wealth and prominence from a particular industry (or industries)

A business magnate or industrialist is an entrepreneur of great influence, importance, or standing in a particular enterprise or field of business. The term characteristically refers to a wealthy entrepreneur or investor who controls, through personal business ownership or dominant shareholding position, a firm or industry whose goods or services are widely consumed. Such individuals may also be called czars, moguls, proprietors, tycoons, taipans, barons, or oligarchs.

<i>The New York Times</i> Daily broadsheet newspaper based in New York City

The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.

A media proprietor, media mogul or media tycoon refers to a successful entrepreneur or businessperson who controls, through personal ownership or via a dominant position in any media related company or enterprise, media consumed by a large number of individuals. Those with significant control, ownership, and influence of a large company in the mass media may also be called a tycoon, baron, or business magnate. Social media creators and founders can also be considered media moguls, as such channels deliver media to a large consumer base.


Early history

tronc's history dates back to 1847, when the Chicago Tribune (for which the company and its former parent, Tribune Media, are named) published its first edition on June 10 of that year, in a one-room plant at LaSalle and Lake Streets in Chicago. [12] The Tribune constructed its first building, a four-story structure at Dearborn and Madison Streets, in 1869; however the building was destroyed, along with most of the city, by the Great Chicago Fire in October 1871. The Tribune resumed printing two days later with an editorial declaring "Chicago Shall Rise Again". The newspaper's editor and part-owner, Joseph Medill, was elected mayor and led the city's reconstruction. A native Ohioan who first acquired an interest in the Tribune in 1855, Medill gained full control of the newspaper in 1874 and ran it until his death in 1899.

<i>Chicago Tribune</i> major daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, United States

The Chicago Tribune is a daily newspaper based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, owned by Tribune Publishing. Founded in 1847, and formerly self-styled as the "World's Greatest Newspaper", it remains the most-read daily newspaper of the Chicago metropolitan area and the Great Lakes region. It is the eighth-largest newspaper in the United States by circulation.

LaSalle Street street in Chicago

LaSalle Street is a major north-south street in Chicago named for Robert de La Salle, an early explorer of Illinois. The portion that runs through the Chicago Loop is considered to be Chicago's financial district.

Lake Street is an east–west street in Chicago and its suburbs. Part of Lake Street is designated as U.S. Route 20. Lake Street begins in the city of Chicago and travels west and slightly north to the Chicago suburbs. It ends at the eastern terminus of the Elgin Bypass around Elgin, where U.S. 20 once was routed west through downtown Elgin onto Villa Street. This is a distance of about 34.4 miles (55.4 km).

Medill's two grandsons, cousins Robert R. McCormick and Joseph Medill Patterson, assumed leadership of the company in 1911. That same year, the Chicago Tribune's first newsprint mill opened in Thorold, Ontario, Canada. The mill marked the beginnings of the Canadian newsprint producer later known as QUNO, in which Tribune held an investment interest until 1995. The Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate was formed in 1918, leading to Joseph Patterson's establishment of the company's second newspaper, the New York Daily News on June 26, 1919. Tribune's ownership of the New York City tabloid was considered "interlocking" due to an agreement between McCormick and Patterson.

Robert R. McCormick Publisher of the Chicago Tribune

Robert Rutherford "Colonel" McCormick was a member of the McCormick family of Chicago who became a lawyer, Republican Chicago alderman, distinguished U.S. Army officer in World War I, and eventually owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune newspaper. A leading Republican and non-interventionist, McCormick opposed the increase in Federal power brought about by the New Deal and later opposed American entry into World War II. His death also created what is now the McCormick Foundation, known for its philanthropic activities.

Joseph Medill Patterson American journalist

Joseph Medill Patterson was an American journalist, publisher and founder of the Daily News in New York.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

Growth and acquisitions

The company acquired the Fort Lauderdale-based Sun-Sentinel newspaper in 1963; this was later followed by its purchase of the Orlando Sentinel in 1965. In 1973, the company began sharing stories among 25 subscriber newspapers via the newly formed news service, the Knight News Wire. By 1990, this service was known as Knight-Ridder/Tribune and provided graphics, photo and news content to its member newspapers. KRT became McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, which is owned by the Tribune Company and McClatchy, when The McClatchy Company purchased Knight-Ridder Inc. in 2006. [13] Tribune later acquired the Newport News, Virginia-based Daily Press in 1986. In the wake of a dispute with some of its labor unions, the New York Daily News was sold to British businessman Robert Maxwell in 1991. [12]

Fort Lauderdale, Florida City in Florida, United States

Fort Lauderdale is a city in the U.S. state of Florida, 28 miles (45 km) north of Miami. It is the county seat of Broward County. As of the 2017 census, the city has an estimated population of 180,072. Fort Lauderdale is a principal city of the Miami metropolitan area, which was home to an estimated 6,158,824 people in 2017.

<i>Sun-Sentinel</i> newspaper in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

The Sun-Sentinel is the main daily newspaper of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as surrounding Broward County and southern Palm Beach County. Owned by Tribune Publishing, it circulates all throughout the three counties that comprise South Florida. It is the largest-circulation newspaper in the area.

<i>Orlando Sentinel</i> newspaper

The Orlando Sentinel is the primary newspaper of Orlando, Florida and the Central Florida region. It was founded in 1876, and is currently owned by Tribune Publishing Company.

In June 2000, Tribune acquired the Los Angeles-based Times Mirror Company in a merger deal worth $8.3 billion, which was the largest acquisition in the history of the newspaper industry. [14] The merger added seven daily newspapers to Tribune's portfolio, including the Los Angeles Times , the Long Island-based Newsday , The Baltimore Sun and the Hartford Courant . Tribune Media Net, the national advertising sales organization of Tribune Publishing, was established in 2000 to take advantage of the company's expanded scale and scope.

Later in the decade, Tribune launched daily newspapers targeting urban commuters, including the Chicago Tribune's RedEye edition in 2002, followed by an investment in AM New York one year later. In 2006, Tribune acquired the minority equity interest in AM New York, giving it full ownership of the newspaper. The company sold both Newsday and AM New York to Cablevision Systems Corporation in 2008, with the sale of the latter paper closing on July 29 of that year. [15]

Takeover by Sam Zell and bankruptcy

On April 2, 2007, Chicago-based investor Sam Zell announced plans to buy out the Tribune Company for $34.00 a share, totaling $8.2 billion, [16] with intentions to take the company private. The deal was approved by 97% of the company's shareholders on August 21, 2007. [17] Privatization of the Tribune Company occurred on December 20, 2007 with Tribune's stock listing being terminated at the close of the trading day. [18]

On December 8, 2008, faced with a high debt load totaling $13 billion, related to the company's leveraged buyout and subsequent privatization, and a sharp downturn in newspaper advertising revenue, Tribune filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in what was the largest bankruptcy in the history of the American media industry. [16] [19] Company plans called for it to emerge from bankruptcy by May 31, 2010, [20] but the company would end up in protracted bankruptcy proceedings for four years.

On July 13, 2012, the Tribune Company received approval of a reorganization plan to allow the company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware bankruptcy court. Oaktree Capital Management, JPMorgan Chase and Angelo, Gordon & Co., which were the company's senior debt holders, assumed control of Tribune's properties upon the company's exit from bankruptcy on December 31, 2012. [21] [22]

Spin-off of publishing unit

On February 26, 2013, Tribune reportedly hired investment firms Evercore Partners and J.P. Morgan & Co. to oversee the sale of its newspapers. [23] On July 10, 2013, Tribune announced that it would split into two companies, spinning off its publishing division into the Tribune Publishing Company. Its broadcasting, digital media and other assets (including Tribune Media Services, which among others, provides news and features content for Tribune's newspapers) would remain with the Tribune Company. [24] On November 20, 2013, Tribune announced it would cut 700 jobs from its newspaper properties due to declining advertising revenues. [25]

On June 17, 2014, in a presentation for lenders, Tribune revealed that it had set August 4 as the target date for its spin-off of Tribune Publishing. [26] [27] [28] The split was finalized on the target date, with the publishing arm being spun out as Tribune Publishing Company, and its former parent company being renamed Tribune Media. [29] [30] [31]

Post spin-off

Tribune Publishing acquired six suburban daily and 32 weekly newspapers in the Chicago Metropolitan Area in October 2014. These acquisitions were similar in strategy to earlier acquisitions in the state of Maryland, expanding its footprint in its eight "core markets." [32]

On May 7, 2015, Tribune Publishing announced that it had reached a deal to acquire the San Diego Union-Tribune and its associated properties for $85 million, ending the paper's 146 years of private ownership. Following the completion of the acquisition, the Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times became part of a new operating entity known as the California News Group, led by current Times publisher and CEO Timothy E. Ryan. The two papers will retain distinct operations, but there will be a larger amount of synergy and content sharing between them. The acquisition did not include the paper's headquarters, which remains owned by the paper's previous owner, Doug Manchester. [33] [34]

In April 2016, Gannett Company (which, much like Tribune, had spun out its broadcasting properties into a separate firm to focus on publishing assets) made an unsolicited bid to acquire Tribune Publishing for $12.25 per-share, or around $400 million. This deal was rejected by Tribune's shareholders in May 2016; in turn, Gannett increased its offer to around $15 per-share (around $800 million). On May 17, 2016, Tribune CEO Michael Ferro stated that he intended to make a bid to acquire Gannett instead. [35] [36] [37]

On November 1, 2016, Gannett announced that it would no longer pursue its acquisition of Tronc. [38]

tronc era

On June 2, 2016, the company announced that it would rebrand itself as tronc, short for "Tribune online content". [4] The rebranding took place on June 20, 2016. Tronc began trading on NASDAQ under the symbol TRNC. [39]

That day, chief technology officer Malcolm CasSelle and chief digital officer Anne Vasquez announced to employees initiatives in content optimization, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and increasing the amount of video to 50% of all content by 2017, in an effort to increase reader engagement and ad revenue. [40] The company also introduced a new slogan, From Pixels to Pulitzers . The video announcement was derided in social and print media as full of buzzwords and lacking substance. [41] [42] [43] On August 7, 2016, while criticising several aspects of a corporate restructuring that went along with the rebranding (for instance a shift of focus away from hard news towards usage maximization, which he perceived as undue), satirist John Oliver mocked this new name as "the sound an ejaculating elephant makes", and (ironically) "the sound of a stack of newspapers hitting a dumpster." [44]

On March 13, 2017, Tronc announced that it would license Arc, the digital publishing system of The Washington Post . [45]

On September 4, 2017, Tronc announced that it had acquired the New York Daily News . Having been established in 1919 by the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate, the Daily News had been owned by the Tribune Company before its sale to Robert Maxwell in 1991 and then to Mortimer Zuckerman in 1993. [46] Tronc purchased the New York Daily News for $1 plus the assumption of its liabilities. [47] On July 23, 2018, Tronc announced massive layoffs at the paper, and ousted its editor in chief [48]

On February 7, 2018, Tronc announced that it will sell off its California properties ( Los Angeles Times , San Diego Union-Tribune) to Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500 million with an assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities. [49] The sale closed on June 18 that year. [10]

On June 19, 2018, it was reported that Tronc will rename itself back to Tribune Publishing. [50] In July 2018, it was reported that Tronc moved their headquarters from Tribune Tower to the south Chicago at the Two Prudential Plaza. [51]

Publications owned



Computer tabloids

  • RedEye (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Tribune News Service


  • City & Shore Magazine
  • Chicago Magazine
  • Hartford Magazine
  • Naperville Magazine
  • Polo Equestrian of the Palm Beaches
  • Prime Magazine
  • South Florida Parenting
  • Williamsburg Magazine


Syndication Agency


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