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Jack Griffin ’88MPPM: launching a newspaper company

A new symbol—TPUB—is now turning up in the New York Stock Exchange listings, and behind it is the hope that the newspaper business can still find its way in the twenty-first century. And it’ll be the job of longtime print-media executive Jack Griffin ’88MPPM to figure out how to do it.

The Tribune Company, which until now has owned some of the nation’s most prominent newspapers and a string of television stations and cable channels, spun off its newspapers this week into a separate company called Tribune Publishing (thus TPUB), with Griffin as its CEO.

The son and grandson of Boston newspaper journalists, Griffin went into the business side of print after he graduated from the Yale School of Management, rising through the ranks at the New York Times Magazine and the magazine publisher Meredith. After a few years in consulting and a short stint as chair of Time, Inc.'s magazine division, he was picked to run the Tribune spinoff in April.

That job will entail increasing profits in a troubled industry. The Tribune papers—which include the flagship Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, and the Hartford Courantcut 700 jobs last November due to declining advertising revenue. The way forward, Griffin says, is digital. “We will be a company that has a greater percentage of its revenue coming from digital sources," he told the New York Times.

In the meantime, Griffin told Crain’s Chicago Business, the company may well be buying more newspapers, especially those near its existing publications. “We think there are more of these opportunities around the country that are geographically adjacent to where we run big papers and big brands,” said Griffin, “and that over time we can achieve similar kinds of consolidation and acquisition opportunities that are going to add meaningfully to our footprint and our revenue and our profit.”


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Filed under Jack Griffin, newspapers, Tribune Company
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