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Chicago Sun-Times to Sell all Suburban Newspapers to the Tribune

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by LanceyHoward, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    It is being reported that the Tribune will buy nine suburban dailies and 32 weeklies from the Sun-Times. The Sun-Times will only have the flagship paper left.


    How is the Sun-Times doing? Is this the beginning of the end?.
  2. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Well-Known Member

    This isn't a big surprise. When Tribune Publishing was formed, the CEO said the company would look to acquire smaller suburban newspapers situated within the major metros' circulation areas. Looks like that strategy is being implemented.

    I don't know much about the Sun-Times' financial situation these days, but I sure hope it's not the beginning of the end. It was my parents' newspaper of choice during my childhood years, and it was arguably as good as (and maybe even a little better than) the Trib until Murdoch took over in the early '80s.
  3. The beginning of the end started several years ago. This is close to the end.
  4. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    I speak from experience: That will not be good news for those who work at the suburban newspapers acquired by the Tribune.

    They will considerably trim staff.
  5. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    This is speculation but given the plummeting circulation of the Miami Herald I wonder if the Tribune tries to by that paper and combine it with Fort Lauderdale.
  6. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I used think that could never happen. Now.....
  7. Bronco77

    Bronco77 Well-Known Member

    The Sun Sentinel/Herald combo is a periodic subject of speculation in South Florida and makes some sense. There's very little overlap in the circulation areas anymore (Sun Sentinel doesn't sell papers in Miami-Dade County and the Herald doesn't have much of a presence in the northern half of Broward), so it might be a good fit. McClatchy has made noise in the past about selling the Herald/El Nuevo Herald. It probably would come down to the asking price, and whether Tribune Publishing can afford it.

    I've always thought a Tribune purchase of the Palm Beach Post would make at least as much sense as the Sun Sentinel/Herald combo. Not sure, though, how interested Cox is in selling the Post.
  8. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    At one point I think Cox tried to sell but pulled back. And a combination of the three makes sense.
  9. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    The sale has been finalized. Things are moving quickly. Office staff of the Sun-Times told to report to Tribune Tower Monday.


    The Tribune says no changes are planned and that employee salary and benefits are guaranteed until the end of the year. I would hate to be one of the affected employees who has to report to work January 2.

    One reader commented that suburban papers have been particularly hard hit by competition from other sources. These papers served as a vehicle for classified and real estate advertisers to reach a focused, local market far more cheaply than they could in the big metro daily. But these advertisers have largely abandoned print. I don't know the credibility of the source but it sounds logical. And it would explain the demise of papers like the East Valley Tribune as a daily the and loss of the North County Times.

    I also makes me wonder what will happen to the suburban clusters of MediaNews (is that the name of the parent? They keep going into Chapter 11 and I have lost track) in Los Angeles and San Francisco which are for sale.
  10. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    As someone who started my career at one of the papers affected, I wish the best to everyone involved in this ... especially once January arrives.

    Lancey, your point about car dealers and real estate companies abandoning print in the 'burbs is ominous for all of us in the biz. Those damn Realtors (TM) and slimy car salesmen used to flood the suburban weekly and daily papers with ads not long ago.
  11. podunk press

    podunk press Active Member

    All I know is Tribune bought a newspaper where I previously worked.

    Almost everyone I worked with is gone now ... mostly voluntary departures, some layoffs.
  12. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    What has happened now that the papers have merged? I called up the Southtown Economist website and it has a Chicago Tribune URL. Has Tribune maintained all the mastheads? Has the Tribune merged editorial staffs? How many people were given the ax?
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