Three major media companies all revealed grim news Monday.
The Tribune Company announced it would be seeking bankruptcy protection:
Media conglomerate Tribune Co., smothered by $13 billion in debt and a drop-off in advertising, on Monday became the first major newspaper publisher to seek bankruptcy protection since the Internet sent the industry into a tailspin.
Most of the company's debt comes from the complex transaction in which the company was taken private, with employee ownership, by real estate mogul Sam Zell last year. Although Tribune's next major debt payment isn't due until June, the company has been in danger of missing financial targets set by its lenders.
The New York Times Company said it would try to ease a cash problem by borrowing up to $225 million against its mid-Manhattan headquarters.
The New York Times Company plans to borrow up to $225 million against its mid-Manhattan headquarters building, to ease a potential cash flow squeeze as the company grapples with tighter credit and shrinking profits.
The company has retained Cushman & Wakefield, the real estate firm, to act as its agent to secure financing, either in the form of a mortgage or a sale-leaseback arrangement, said James M. Follo, the Times Company's chief financial officer.
NBC Universal Chief Jeff Zucker told investors that he was considering scaling back the network's programming hours:
A terrible fall season at NBC is forcing the network to consider scaling back the number of hours it airs programming, Chief Executive Jeff Zucker told an investor conference Monday.
While NBC will continue to fund the creation of pilots, Zucker told analysts at a media investor conference sponsored by UBS that NBC is considering cutting the number of hours or perhaps even the number of nights it provides programming.