Monday, December 8, 2008

Tribune, NBC, and more - Big Day in Media News

Some interesting tidbits of news trickling in today regarding some behemoths restructuring and even pondering bankruptcy.

Check out the news below...

Tough Times at Tribune
From the WSJ with link to full story...
Tribune Co. is preparing for a possible filing for bankruptcy-court protection as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter, in a sign of worsening trouble for the newspaper industry.

In recent days, as Chicago-based Tribune continued talks with lenders to restructure its debt, the newspaper-and-television concern hired investment bank Lazard Ltd. as its financial adviser and law firm Sidley Austin to advise the company on a possible trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, people familiar with the matter say.

NBC Sends Execs Packing

Link to full Variety story here...
NBC has become -- to paraphrase one of the network’s recent flops -- its own worst enemy.

The Peacock has been in a perpetual state of crisis for several years now -- blowing up its executive teams and repositioning its programming strategy, all while struggling to pull out of fourth place.

The latest chapter of this NBC saga was a doozy: The conglom ousted both Universal Media Studios topper Katherine Pope and NBC Entertainment exec VP Teri Weinberg on Friday in a pre-weekend Peacock bloodbath. Alternative topper Craig Plestis, who’s been negotiating his exit for weeks, will also be out by the end of the year.

Media Tightening Its Belt for Multiple Reasons...
Execs Blame Recession as They Wield the Ax, but This Is About Reinvention, too
Link to full story...

Citing the effects of a recession that's prompting marketers to trim budgets and the number of media outlets they work with, media companies are shedding jobs at a furious rate. But the deep cuts they're making are as much about these conglomerates shedding their old media models as they are about the economy.

Viacom and NBC Universal swung the ax last week, eliminating 850 and 500 jobs, or 7% and 3% of their work forces, respectively. Add that to 600 job cuts at Time Inc., 1,500 at Yahoo, 1,800 at Gannett, hundreds at CBS's radio and local TV divisions, and incremental cuts just about everywhere else, and big media is getting a whole lot smaller.

How small? The media industries have shed more than 30,000 jobs in 2008, according to an Ad Age analysis of Department of Labor employment statistics and news reports. That's about 3.5% of the total media work force of 858,000. Since the bubble-inflated high-water mark in 2000, media has lost more than 200,000 jobs.

No comments: