Times Mirror sees upturn

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In a return to the annual PaineWebber media conference after a one-year absence, Times Mirror Co. said its year of downsizings should translate into a substantial earnings increase of 50% in 1996.

"We expect our operating companies to meet or exceed industry standards," said Mark Willes, who was named president-CEO of Times Mirror in June. In the newspaper wing of the company, he said he has cut about 2,000 jobs so far this year. Thomas Unterman, chief financial officer, said the consumer media group, which includes magazines, "hasn't delivered on the bottom line at all." That's why the magazine unit downsized by 25%.

On the new-media front, the company said it plans to develop Web sites for the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Hartford (Conn.) Courant and is working on the creation of an online entertainment product.

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