The moves Tribune Co. announced this week — a $2 bllion-plus buyback, asset sales (non-core), and more cost-cutting — boosted the company’s stock in the short term but it’s not enough for the long haul. On the hot seat: Tribune Chairman, President and CEO Dennis FitzSimons, who is also chairman of the Robert R. McCormick Tribuine Foundation, a major shareholder. FitzSimons came up through the broadcasting side, building into a major force for the company. He didn’t make the Times Mirror deal but was a senior exec at the time and bought into the idea; he still believes holding newspapers and stations in the same markets is a plus with advertisers. As he told the WSJ, “Having multiple media in a market gives you an edge. … It doesn’t guarantee success.” Eventually, he may have to give up that edge and sell or spin off the broadcast side to focus on print and interactive.
Update: A Tribune spokesman told Crain‘s Tribune Tower, expected by at least one analyst to be on the block, is considered a core asset and is not for sale. Whew. (via Romenesko)
Related: Tribune Buying Back 25 Percent Of Stock For $2 Billion Plus; Selling Assets