Newspaper News: Zell Buys Trib, PostPoints

Real estate mogul Sam Zell is buying Tribune Co. and taking the company private. I’m seeing various reports that the approved deal is valued at either $13 billion or $8.2 billion. The Chicago Cubs baseball team will be sold as part of the transaction. The Tribune owns part of numerous Internet ventures:

Whether this deal is good for the quality of the papers and specifically the LA Times remains to be seen.

Over at the WashingtonPost, the company has introduced a loyalty program called “PostPoints.” MediaPost has the story. You can earn PostPoints by remaining a print subscriber and by, among other ways:

  • Post a resume to our extensive jobs section
  • Write an approved City Guide review about a restaurant or movie

There are membership tiers based on your print newspaper subscription. Online only, non-subscribers can access only the “silver” membership level (the lowest of four). Bigger rewards are available to print subscribers.

This is an interesting (though complex) program and I’ll be curious to see if it accomplishes its primary goal: print subscriber retention.

2 Responses to “Newspaper News: Zell Buys Trib, PostPoints”

  1. adam hartung Says:

    This transaction bodes horribly for the Tribune Company and its properties ever finding their way into becoming a “new media” company. Despite a few bright spots in the Tribune investment portfolio, the past 5 years have been a litany of cost cutting exercises across the Tribune. Now that Sam Zell has loaded up the company with an ADDITIONAL $7B of debt there will be no resources for transforming Tribune properties as they continue to cut costs in order to service this massive debt. Read more detail at

  2. The Decline of a Once-Great Paper « Screenwerk Says:

    […] independent buy-out efforts for the LA Times failed as Sam Zell and his investor group acquired the Tribune Co. and its assets, including the Times. Zell is likely to force more cost cutting further weakening […]

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