Peter Liguori


Tribune’s move confirms a trend as other large media companies are spinning off their high growing broadcast assets and keeping their publishing properties in a different unit. News Corp spun off its publishing arm in June. Belo spun off its broadcast and publishing units a few years ago and recently its Broadcast unit was sold to Gannett for about US $1.5 billion. After this transaction Gannett, traditionally a newspaper company, anticipates that broadcast will represent more than half of the company’s combined total EBITDA and together, Broadcast and Digital are expected to contribute nearly 2/3 of total EBITDA. Gannett has not communicated any intentions to split its broadcast and publishing units.

tribuneTribune Co.’s plan to separate its broadcast and publishing divisions into two companies. The company in a statement said the Tribune Co. name would remain connected to its expanding broadcast business and Tribune Publishing Co. would become the new name of the company holding its newspaper assets, including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, as well as Spanish-language newspapers Hoy (Los Angeles and Chicago) and El Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

“Moving to separate our publishing and broadcasting assets into two distinct companies will bring single-minded attention to the journalistic standards, advertising partnerships and digital prospects of our iconic newspapers, while also enabling us to take advantage of the operational and strategic opportunities created by the significant scale we are building in broadcasting,” Peter Liguori, president and CEO of Tribune, said in a statement. “In addition, the separation is designed to allow each company to maximize its flexibility and competitiveness in a rapidly changing media environment.”

The move may allow to make the print business more attractive to potential buyers and to make the broadcast business more successful in an eventual IPO.

Tribune said each company will have its own board of directors and senior management team. According to Chicago Business “Splitting the two businesses will allow Tribune to separate the various tax, pension and other aspects associated with the two legacy businesses as well, perhaps allowing it to make the print business in some way more attractive to potential buyers and to make the broadcast business more successful in an eventual initial public offering of stock. That could make it easier for Tribune to handle an ongoing dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes the agency says the company owes.”

The Trend of spinning off Broadcast from Publishing

Other large media companies are spinning off their broadcast assets and keeping their publishing properties in a different unit. News Corp spun off its publishing arm in June.  Belo  spun off its Broadcast and Publishing units a few years ago and last month its Broadcast unit was sold to Gannett  for about $1.5 billion. Two weeks ago Tribune itself announced the acquisition of local TV, a deal that made it one of the largest TV station owners in the United States.


Tribune Co. has agreed to acquire Cincinnati-based Local TV LLC for $2.725 billion in cash, the companies announced today. The deal will add 19 television stations in 16 markets to Tribune Co.’s television portfolio. The deal makes Tribune the largest commercial television station owner in the U.S., with 42 properties across the country.

“This is a transformational acquisition for Tribune. It makes us the No. 1 local TV affiliate group in America, expands the distribution platform for our high-quality video content, and extends the reach of our digital products to new audiences across the country,” Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited about Tribune’s future as America’s leader in creating and distributing original content and local news programming.”

Several originally mostly newspaper oriented companies, like Tribune, are trying to build out video and digital operations and move away from newspapers. The Tribune Local TV deal comes less than a month after Gannett agreed to buy the Belo Corporation for about $1.5 billion, nearly doubling its local television holdings.

Tribune Co. owns 23 television stations including WGN-Ch. 9 in Chicago, KTLA in Los Angeles and WPIX in New York. The Chicago-based media company also owns national cable channel WGN America, WGN Radio and eight daily newspapers including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, among other holdings. The acquisition of Local TV will add stations in Denver, Cleveland, St. Louis, Kansas City, Salt Lake City and Milwaukee. Once the deal is completed, Tribune Co. will own 14 stations in the top 20 markets, and become the largest Fox affiliate group in the U.S.

Principally owned by private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, Local TV was launched in 2007 with the acquisition of nine TV stations from the New York Times Co. In 2008, Local TV purchased eight Fox-owned stations from News Corp.

Local TV’s inaugural CEO was Randy Michaels, who left within the first year to join Tribune Co., where he rose to CEO while the company was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy before being forced out in 2010.

Hispanic TV Market“Local TV and Tribune have had a long, successful relationship over the last five years,” Bobby Lawrence, CEO of Local TV, said in a statement. “Our cultures and operating philosophies are very similar, and we share a strong commitment to news and local programming excellence. My management team will dearly miss working with some of the most talented and dedicated people in broadcasting, but we know we leave our employees in good hands.”

Financing Commitments

Tribune Co. has received financing commitments of up to $4.1 billion from JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, including a new $300 million revolving credit facility and the capacity to refinance its existing debt. JPMorgan owns about 9 percent of Tribune Co., which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close before the end of the year, subject to antitrust and Federal Communications Commission approvals, according to Tribune Co.

At the same time, Tribune is weighing a potential sale or spinoff of its newspaper properties, including The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times and several Spanish-language newspapers (including Hoy Chicago and Los Angeles as well El Sentinel in Florida). Advisers of Tribune have been in touch with potential bidders, ranging from the Koch brothers to the billionaire Eli Broad.

Several companies that were originally mostly newspaper oriented companies, like Tribune, are trying to build out video and digital operations and move away from newspapers.  The Tribune Local TV deal comes less than a month after the Gannett Company, the largest newspaper owner in the U.S.,  agreed to buy the Belo Corporation for about $1.5 billion, nearly doubling its local television holdings. Such consolidation is intended to help media companies gain more scale, giving them additional negotiating clout with broadcast partners.



People change positions, gets promoted or move to other companies.  Portada is here to tell you about it.

Daniel Gergely – Wing -, Paco Olavarrieta – Dieste -, Leo Olper, Paco Olavarrieta and Dortiz Ferreras – D’expósito & Partners,   Benita Mendell – Media Network – AIM – Texas,  Peter Liguori – Tribune Corp.  -.

WPP’s Wing announced the promotion of Daniel Gergely from Business Development Supervisor to Director of Business Development, a new position.  Gergely reports directly to Charlie Neugebauer, VP, Director of Account Management. As Director of Business Development, Gergely will lead new business acquisition; direct inter-agency and public relations; and manage client relationships including Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Reliant Energy, and The New York International Latino Film Festival. “Working under Alain Groenendaal and our Managing Director Andrew Speyer for the past two years has made me a better marketer,” Gergely said. “I’m honored to work with them and honored by this promotion. We have an incredible team in place at Wing and I am confident we will continue to win business at the pace we’ve set this year.”

Paco Olavarrieta
Paco Olavarrieta

Dieste Inc. announced the departure of its President and Chief Creative Officer, Aldo Quevedo. Paco Olavarrieta (photo), Dieste’s Chief Content Curator since July 2011, will assume the position of Chief Creative Officer of the agency on January 1st. “Paco is an icon in our industry and is an immensely talented creative. He is admired in the industry, by the team and respected by our clients. He has all the credentials to be Dieste’s Chief Creative Officer,” stated Dieste’s CEO Greg Knipp.

D’expósito & Partners announced that Leo Olper and Mauricio Galván have joined the Agency as partners. “They will be adding depth and strength to an already successful team,” says the Agency in its announcement. Mr. Olper has joined the Agency as Partner/Business Development and Integration Officer and Mr. Galván has joined as Partner/Chief Creative Officer. “We are thrilled to be joining the team at d expósito & Partners and, in particular, I am looking forward to working hand in hand with Daisy [Expósito-Ulla] who is someone I truly admire in our industry,” said Mr. Olper. “It is an exciting opportunity and it provides a wonderful platform to continue working with Mauricio.” Both Olper and Galván had most recently worked together at Totality where they oversaw all of the multicultural work for Euro RSCG (now Havas) and Arnold. Along with the hires of Mr. Olper and Mr. Galván, D’expósito & Partners also announced the addition of Dortiz Ferreras as Partner/Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to joining d expósito & Partners, Ms. Ferreras’ career included strategic leadership positions at Alma DDB (formerly Del Rivero/Messianu DDB), The Marketing Store and Leo Burnett Chicago. Ms. Ferreras also worked on the client side having held the post of McDonald’s Marketing Manager for the Florida Region.

Benita Mendell
Benita Mendell

Benita Mendell has been named general manager of the Media Network effective immediately. The Media Network will provide broad sales, marketing, training, service and support activities across the entire Rio Grande Valley for advertisers and marketers that focuses on the full complement of print publications and digital offerings offered by the company and also works directly with other media outlets available in the market including TV, radio, cable, outdoor, direct mail and digital. In this new position, Mendell will report to Stephan Wingert, regional vice president for AIM Media Texas and publisher at the McAllen Monitor. Mendell has served as general manager at the McAllen Monitor since 2006 and also as regional ad director in the Valley since 2008. Earlier in her career, she served as advertising director at the Monitor from 1999 to 2006 and as direct markets/key accounts manager at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times from 1996 to 1999.

Newspaper industry veteran Susie Ellwood has been chosen as the new publisher for the Austin American-Statesman. Ellwood, 59, was introduced to the newspaper’s staff Monday and will start her new job Dec. 3. She replaces Jane Williams, who was recently named senior vice president of television for Cox Media Group, the Statesman’s parent company in Atlanta. Ellwood will be responsible for the business and editorial operations of the Statesman and its affiliates, including statesman.com, austin360.com and eight community newspapers, including Hispanic weekly Ahora Si.

Tribune Co. is expected to name television veteran Peter Liguori as its next CEO, having cleared its last major hurdle to emerging from bankruptcy on Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reports.  Mr. Liguori, a former TV-programming executive at News Corp and Discovery Communications Inc, has been chosen by Tribune’s new owners, a group of creditors led by Oaktree Capital Management LP, Angelo, Gordon & Co. and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the person said. But he won’t be formally appointed until the company emerges from bankruptcy in coming weeks and a new board takes control, another person familiar with the matter said. Mr. Liguori didn’t respond to a request for comment.


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