WGN America Conversion Helps Tribune


WGN-AmericaDiving deeper into the Tribune second-quarter financials, we learn several things.

Specifically, the company’s consolidated adjusted EBITDA decreased 29%.

In large part, the drop was driven by three factors: Previously announced changes in the timing of the amortization of programming expense for original programming at WGN America, planned production funding for co-owned original programming for WGN America, and
implementation costs for improved technology applications and the establishment of new shared services operations.

Basic and diluted loss per share from continuing operations of $(0.04), which includes a pre-tax charge of $37 million for loss on the extinguishment of debt related to the company’s refinancing of its term loan facility and issuance of $1.1 billion of 5.875% senior notes due in 2022.

Strategic highlights for the quarter include conversion of WGN America from a superstation to a basic cable network is ahead of schedule, with an expectation of at least 75% of subscribers converted by the end of 2015, according to Tribune. The company also highlighted for investors a 48% in carriage fees, resulting in part, from improved off-network and original programming.