Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB) executives highlighted business progress, celebrated excellence in journalism and recognized employee contributions at the company’s 2005 Annual Meeting of Shareholders held today in Chicago.
“The business of local mass media is healthy and has excellent growth potential,” said Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune Company chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Tribune’s newspapers and television stations are resilient. We have strong franchises in top markets, and they are critically important to advertisers, consumers and the communities we serve.”
Tribune Publishing President Scott Smith reported on the company’s publishing operations. “Each of our 11 metropolitan newspapers is the leading media business in its market,” said Smith. “Their broad reach across diverse age and ethnic groups deliver informed and engaged audiences for thousands of advertisers.”
Pat Mullen, Tribune Broadcasting President, highlighted the solid performance of Tribune’s 26 television stations in 2004. “Our local stations are well-managed, and our strategy of programming to younger television viewers differentiates our WB and Fox affiliates in today’s media environment,” said Mullen. “The quality of local news programming and efficient operations also set Tribune apart.”
The meeting also honored Tribune’s journalists based in the U.S and around the world. In 2004, Tribune newspapers were recognized with four Pulitzer Prizes and the company’s television stations received 38 Emmy Awards for local news production.
The company presented its highest honors, the Tribune Management Award and the Tribune Values Award. This year’s winners are:
- Tribune Management Award — A 12-person team from across the company that led the company’s compliance efforts with the federal law known as Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The team coordinated the work of hundreds of people at Tribune’s business units. In addition to their regular duties, this team worked the entire year to document, test and assess more than 4000 financial and management control activities across the company. When finished, they were able to confirm that Tribune has strong and effective financial reporting controls and processes.
- The winning team members were:
- Jerry Agema, Chief Financial Officer/Tribune Publishing;
- Harry Amsden, VP/Corporate Compliance;
- Tom Caputo, VP/Audit;
- Kathy Coddington, Director/Audit;
- Dark Dejanovic, VP/Chief Technology Officer;
- Terry Jimenez, Chief Financial Officer/Newsday;
- Shelly Lebioda, Director/Quality Assurance;
- Mark Mallory, VP/Controller;
- Mike Plonski, VP/Tribune Interactive;
- John Poelking, Chief Financial Officer/Tribune Broadcasting;
- Josh Seeger, Chief Information Officer/Tribune Broadcasting;
- Scott Tafelski, Director/Tribune Publishing
- Tribune Values Award — a four-person team at WPIX-TV, New York, for brightening the winter holiday season last year for U.S. troops in the Middle East. News Director Karen Scott, Reporter Marvin Scott, Photographer Dave Kimmel, and Engineering Supervisor Jake Soto were embedded with a military unit from New York. During their visit, they connected dozens of soldiers with their families back home via satellite, allowing them to share a brief visit during the holidays.
- In other business at the meeting, shareholders re-elected Roger Goodan, Rick Hernandez, Jr., Chris Reyes and Dudley Taft to three-year terms. Shareholders also ratified the selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers as independent accountants for Tribune for 2005.
At its regularly scheduled meeting earlier in the day, Tribune’s board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $.18 per share on the common stock of the company. The dividend will be paid on June 9, 2005, to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 26, 2005.