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July 10, 2013

Courant, CT Fox affiliate part of Tribune split

Submitted photo The Hartford Courant and Fox 61, whose downtown Hartford studio is shown in this 2009 photo, could soon be operated by separate divisions of the Tribune Co.

The Tribune Company, which owns the Hartford Courant and Connecticut Fox affiliate WTIC-TV, announced today that it intends to separate its broadcasting and publishing businesses into two distinct companies.

Tribune Publishing Co. will be the name of the division that holds the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel (South Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, The Morning Call and Daily Press.

Tribune’s 42 local television stations, including WTIC-TV, will exist under a division known simply as Tribune Co.

The announcement comes a week after the company announced it would acquire 19 television stations owned by Local TV Holdings.

Peter Liguori, Tribune’s president and CEO, explained the thinking behind the split in this morning’s announcement.

"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," Liguori said. "In addition, the separation is designed to allow each company to maximize its flexibility and competitiveness in a rapidly changing media environment."

The transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals.

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