TRIB TOTAL MEDIA ANNOUNCES NEW PHASE OF STRATEGIC GROWTH PLAN
November 10, 2015
Trib Total Media (TTM) announced today the second phase of a strategic growth plan that its board of directors unveiled in late August. The new phase includes the consolidation of the Tribune-Review, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Valley News Dispatch into one paper, the Tribune-Review. The consolidation will result in the closing of TTM's Greensburg printing operation and a reduced home delivery footprint in Allegheny and Westmoreland Counties.
"For the past several months our Board of Directors has been engaged in a strategic review of our company in order to best position us for the future and to meet the changing needs of our readers, subscribers, advertisers, partners and employees," said Jennifer Bertetto, president and CEO of Trib Total Media. "The digital landscape has dramatically altered how consumers get their news and it is critical that we evolve as a company to deliver the news where, when, and how our readers would like to receive it."
In an effort to bolster its digital presence, TTM will roll out several digital platforms in 2016. First, through its new affiliate, 535 Media, LLC, TTM has acquired 40 percent of the stock of Newsmax Media, a proven national leader in digital news. 535 Media plans to launch a joint venture with Newsmax in early 2016. Further, TTM will unveil a revitalized TribLive.com in January that will include new enhancements like an expanded healthcare section designed to meet a growing demand in the region and around the world. Finally, in the spring of 2016, the company will release a series of mobile-first websites.
As announced back in August, the first phase of the plan included offering buyout opportunities to select long-term employees. Of the roughly 425 employees eligible under the provisions of the buyout, 68 employees accepted the buyout offer.
"Unfortunately, the buyouts, sales and closings of the newspapers are not the end of the personnel changes that are required for the Trib to adapt to the changing business environment," said Bertetto. "We have been forced to further evaluate the future of our business and identify additional ways to improve the overall financial health of the company. With that, we are compelled to make the incredibly tough decision to lay off 153 of the approximately 1,100 full- and part-time Trib Total Media employees across the company."
If The Valley Independent in Monessen and The Daily News in McKeesport aren't sold to any potential buyers in the next 60 days, an additional 91 layoffs will be required and the operations will close in January.
"While we've had to make some extremely difficult business decisions over the past several months, there is much to look forward to as we invest in Trib's digital evolution," Bertetto said. "There will be a great deal of positive and exciting change to come as our company embraces its future."