The Breakdown

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LA Times parent Tribune Publishing's stock loses 4.4 percent on 1st day

Tribune Media and Tribune Publishing unveiled new, separate logos Monday, August 4, 2014, as the Tribune Company spun off its newspaper holdings into a separate organization.
Tribune Media and Tribune Publishing unveiled new, separate logos Monday, August 4, 2014, as the Tribune Company spun off its newspaper holdings into a separate organization. Courtesy Tribune.com

On its first day of trading, the stock of Tribune Publishing Co. — the newly spun-off newspaper company that owns the Los Angeles Times — closed down 4.4 percent Tuesday, giving the company a value of about $537 million.

One day after its spinoff from Tribune Co. — which became Tribune Media — Tribune Publishing stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, the Chicago Tribune  reported:

The stock lost 97 cents to close at $21.15 on volume of more than 821,000 shares. That places a value of about $537 million on the stand-alone publishing company, which trades under the symbol TPUB.

The stock began the day valued at $22.12 per share. By 11 a.m. Pacific Time, it had fallen 72 cents, or 3.25. percent.

On the same morning, Tribune Publishing announced plans to enter into a five-year agreement with Classified Ventures to extend its affiliate agreement with Cars.com.  The announcement came on a busy Tuesday morning that underscored the fast-paced change in digital media. 

Tribune Publishing's deal with Classified Ventures comes as Gannett Co. moves to acquire the 73 percent of Classified Ventures it didn't already own, thus taking full control of Cars.com.

Gannett also announced plans Tuesday to spin off its publishing business, as well, following in the footsteps of Tribune, Time Warner Inc., and News Corp. 

On Monday's Take Two, analyst Ken Doctor of the Nieman Journalism Lab explained that Tribune Publishing came out of the spinoff without the digital and classified businesses. 

"The one part of the newspaper company that had really done well were the digital businesses and classified in recruitment and automotive," Doctor said. "So [Tribune Co., now Tribune Media] held on to those investments, even though it's a broadcast company. So the newspaper company [Tribune Publishing] gets the newspapers — essentially the flag — but it doesn't get any of the digital assets that it built over 15-20 years." 

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