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(April 18, 2001) -- Revenues were down and earnings were sharply down for the first quarter at Tribune Co.

Pro forma revenues -- which include Tribune's Times Mirror acquisition that closed June 2000 and also 2001's results -- showed a 3% drop to 1.29 billion, compared to 1.33 billion in 2000. Earnings totaled 19 cents per share, compared to 31 cents per share last year. Last month, the company reduced earnings per share expectations to between 18 cents and 20 cents, while analysts' consensus was 25 cents per share.

For the second quarter, the company now expects 30 cents in earnings per share, whereas analysts' expectations are 40 cents. In last year's second quarter, the company earned 44 cents per share. In response to ad slowdown in its newspaper and broadcasting units, the company said it would continue to look "very aggressively" at reducing head count throughout the year. --Jon Fine and Mercedes Cardona

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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