Tribune Co., Times Mirror to merge

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Tribune Co., Chicago, agreed to acquire Times Mirror Co., Los Angeles, for cash and stock valued at about $8 billion. When the transaction is completed, the combined company will own 11 daily newspapers, including major-market dailies Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Long Island's Newsday, as well as 22 TV stations and consumer magazines Field & Stream, Golf Magazine and Popular Science. Combining Internet sites, especially those centered in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, will create an Internet division with about $55 million in projected 2000 revenue and an estimated 3.4 million unique monthly visitors. The deal will create the third-largest newspaper company, behind Gannett Co. and Knight-Ridder. "Our new company will be the best positioned local-market media company for the future," said John W. Madigan, Tribune chairman, president and CEO, in a statement. The deal was approved by Times Mirror directors Sunday night, but still must be approved by the company's shareholders. Mr. Madigan will head the new company. Times Mirror CEO Mark H. Willes reportedly will step down when the deal is completed. The Chandler family, which has controlled Times Mirror for 118 years and owns the majority of voting shares, will be given four seats on Tribune Co. board, which will be expanded to 16 people. The Chandlers also retain the right to have a say in who's named publisher of the Los Angeles Times.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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