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EX-32 - EXHIBIT 32 - Tribune Publishing Coa2016q310qexhibit32.htm
EX-31.2 - EXHIBIT 31.2 - Tribune Publishing Coa2016q310qexhibit312.htm
EX-31.1 - EXHIBIT 31.1 - Tribune Publishing Coa2016q310qexhibit311.htm





UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 10-Q
[ X ]
QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the quarterly period ended September 25, 2016
 
OR
[ ]
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES
EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 

Commission File No. 001-36230 
TRONC, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter) 
Delaware
 
38-3919441
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. employer
identification no.)
 
 
 
435 North Michigan Avenue
 
 
Chicago Illinois
 
60611
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (312) 222-9100
 
Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report.
None

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.  Yes  X   No 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).  Yes  X   No   

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
Large accelerated filer ____
 
Accelerated filer   X   
Non-accelerated filer ____
 
Smaller reporting company ____
 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).  Yes __  No  X
 
Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer’s classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date.

Class
 
Outstanding at October 28, 2016
Common Stock, $0.01 par value
 
36,428,232







 
 
TRONC INC.
 
 
 
 
FORM 10-Q
 
 
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
 
 
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
PART I
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 2.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 3.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 4.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART II
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 1A.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 2.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 3.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 4.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 5.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Item 6.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

1




CAUTIONARY STATEMENT CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The statements contained in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as the information contained in the notes to our Consolidated Financial Statements, include certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 that are based largely on our current expectations and reflect various estimates and assumptions by us. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results and achievements to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. Such risks, trends and uncertainties, which in some instances are beyond our control, include: competition and other economic conditions including fragmentation of the media landscape and competition from other media alternatives; changes in advertising demand, circulation levels and audience shares; our ability to develop and grow our online businesses; our success in implementing expense mitigation efforts; our success in implementing our strategic and branding initiatives; our reliance on revenue from printing and distributing third-party publications; changes in newsprint prices; macroeconomic trends and conditions; our ability to adapt to technological changes; our ability to realize benefits or synergies from acquisitions or divestitures or to operate our businesses effectively following acquisitions or divestitures; our reliance on third-party vendors for various services; adverse results from litigation, such as the stockholder derivative lawsuits, governmental investigations or tax-related proceedings or audits; our ability to attract, integrate and retain our senior management team and employees; our ability to satisfy pension and other postretirement employee benefit obligations; changes in accounting standards; the effect of labor strikes, lockouts and labor negotiations; regulatory and judicial rulings; our indebtedness and ability to comply with debt covenants applicable to our debt facilities; our ability to satisfy future capital and liquidity requirements; our ability to access the credit and capital markets at the times and in the amounts needed and on acceptable terms; and other events beyond our control that may result in unexpected adverse operating results. For more information about these and other risks, see “Risk Factors” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 14, 2016, and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in Part II, Item 1A of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 5, 2016.
The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “could,” “should,” “intend,” “may,” “will,” “plan,” “seek” and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements. However, such words are not the exclusive means for identifying forward-looking statements, and their absence does not mean that the statement is not forward looking. Whether or not any such forward-looking statements are, in fact, achieved will depend on future events, some of which are beyond our control. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which are being made as of the date of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

2




PART I.
Item 1.    Financial Statements
TRONC, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME (LOSS)
(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)
 
 
Three months ended
 
Nine months ended
 
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating revenues
 
$
378,236

 
$
405,668

 
$
1,180,956

 
$
1,215,963

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Compensation
 
140,760

 
157,783

 
453,353

 
463,398

Newsprint and ink
 
25,101

 
29,096

 
77,174

 
91,835

Outside services
 
118,060

 
127,513

 
368,733

 
373,308

Other operating expenses
 
79,104

 
84,541

 
227,634

 
232,316

Depreciation and amortization
 
14,375

 
14,303

 
42,799

 
40,161

Total operating expenses
 
377,400

 
413,236

 
1,169,693

 
1,201,018

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income (loss) from operations
 
836

 
(7,568
)
 
11,263

 
14,945

Loss on equity investments, net
 
(190
)
 
(535
)
 
(487
)
 
(542
)
Interest expense, net
 
(6,673
)
 
(6,923
)
 
(20,116
)
 
(19,121
)
Reorganization items, net
 
(93
)
 
80

 
(236
)
 
(773
)
Loss before income taxes
 
(6,120
)
 
(14,946
)
 
(9,576
)
 
(5,491
)
Income tax expense (benefit)
 
4,352

 
(6,345
)
 
3,303

 
(2,803
)
Net loss
 
$
(10,472
)
 
$
(8,601
)
 
$
(12,879
)
 
$
(2,688
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
$
(0.29
)
 
$
(0.33
)
 
$
(0.39
)
 
$
(0.10
)
Diluted
 
$
(0.29
)
 
$
(0.33
)
 
$
(0.39
)
 
$
(0.10
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weighted average shares outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
 
36,415

 
26,321

 
32,908

 
25,908

Diluted
 
36,415

 
26,321

 
32,908

 
25,908

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dividends declared per common share:
 
$

 
$
0.175

 
$

 
$
0.525



The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.

3




TRONC, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE LOSS
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)
 
 
Three months ended
 
Nine months ended
 
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
Net loss
 
$
(10,472
)
 
$
(8,601
)
 
$
(12,879
)
 
$
(2,688
)
Other comprehensive income (loss), net of taxes:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unrecognized benefit plan gains (losses):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Amortization of actuarial losses (gains) to periodic pension cost during the period, net of taxes of ($173), ($518), $82 and ($1,323), respectively
 
(266
)
 
(792
)
 
126

 
(2,026
)
Foreign currency translation
 
2

 
26

 
3

 
(13
)
Other comprehensive income (loss), net of taxes
 
(264
)
 
(766
)
 
129

 
(2,039
)
Comprehensive loss
 
$
(10,736
)
 
$
(9,367
)
 
$
(12,750
)
 
$
(4,727
)



The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.

4



TRONC, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)

 
 
September 25,
2016
 
December 27, 2015
Assets
 
 
 
 
Current assets
 
 
 
 
Cash
 
$
187,125

 
$
40,832

Accounts receivable (net of allowances of $17,027 and $17,590)
 
185,271

 
240,813

Inventories
 
12,844

 
13,688

Prepaid expenses and other
 
19,624

 
16,824

Total current assets
 
404,864

 
312,157


 
 
 
 
Property, plant and equipment
 
 
 
 
Machinery, equipment and furniture
 
248,172

 
240,393

Buildings and leasehold improvements
 
12,776

 
7,377

 
 
260,948

 
247,770

Accumulated depreciation
 
(134,903
)
 
(108,393
)
 
 
126,045

 
139,377

Advance payments on property, plant and equipment
 
3,948

 
5,162

Property, plant and equipment, net
 
129,993

 
144,539

 
 
 
 
 
Other assets
 
 
 
 
Goodwill
 
116,331

 
123,992

Intangible assets, net
 
134,952

 
133,862

Investments
 
3,855

 
3,677

Deferred income taxes
 
64,750

 
81,540

Restricted cash
 

 
17,003

Other long-term assets
 
17,793

 
16,196

Total other assets
 
337,681

 
376,270

 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
 
$
872,538

 
$
832,966

 
 
 
 
 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.

5



TRONC, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (continued)
(In thousands, except per share data)
(Unaudited)


 
 
September 25,
2016
 
December 27, 2015
Liabilities and stockholders’ equity
 
 
 
 
Current liabilities
 
 
 
 
Current portion of long-term debt
 
$
21,608

 
$
21,826

Accounts payable
 
64,311

 
80,881

Employee compensation and benefits
 
84,393

 
97,717

Deferred revenue
 
77,020

 
81,682

Other current liabilities
 
19,022

 
31,324

Total current liabilities
 
266,354

 
313,430

 
 
 
 
 
Non-current liabilities
 
 
 
 
Long-term debt
 
353,962

 
367,847

Deferred revenue
 
5,330

 
6,960

Pension and postretirement benefits payable
 
96,495

 
109,159

Other obligations
 
59,361

 
49,968

Total non-current liabilities
 
515,148

 
533,934

 
 
 
 
 
Stockholders’ equity (deficit)
 
 
 
 
Preferred stock, $.01 par value. Authorized 30,000 shares; no shares issued or outstanding at September 25, 2016 and December 27, 2015
 

 

Common stock, $.01 par value. Authorized 300,000 shares, 36,549 shares issued and 36,428 shares outstanding at September 25, 2016; 26,357 shares issued and 26,236 shares outstanding at December 27, 2015
 
365

 
264

Additional paid-in capital
 
137,199

 
19,251

Accumulated deficit
 
(41,383
)
 
(28,639
)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss
 
(3,777
)
 
(3,906
)
Treasury stock, at cost - 121 shares at September 25, 2016 and December 27, 2015
 
(1,368
)
 
(1,368
)
Total stockholders’ equity (deficit)
 
91,036

 
(14,398
)
 
 
 
 
 
Total liabilities and stockholders’ equity
 
$
872,538

 
$
832,966


The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.

6




TRONC, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF EQUITY (DEFICIT)
(In thousands, except share data)
(Unaudited)

 
 
Common Stock
 
Additional Paid in
 
Accumulated
 
Accumulated Other Comprehensive
 
Treasury
 
Total Equity
 
 
Shares
 
Amount
 
Capital
 
Deficit
 
Loss
 
Stock
 
(Deficit)
Balance at December 27, 2015
 
26,356,947

 
$
264

 
$
19,251

 
$
(28,639
)
 
$
(3,906
)
 
(1,368
)
 
$
(14,398
)
Comprehensive income (loss)
 

 

 

 
(12,879
)
 
129

 

 
(12,750
)
Dividends declared to common stockholders
 

 

 

 
135

 

 

 
135

Issuance of stock from restricted stock unit conversions
 
257,806

 
2

 
(2
)
 

 

 

 

Exercise of stock options
 
14,647

 

 
205

 

 

 

 
205

Issuance of common stock
 
9,920,000

 
99

 
113,219

 

 

 

 
113,318

Excess tax expense from long-term incentive plan
 

 

 
(653
)
 

 

 

 
(653
)
Share-based compensation
 

 

 
6,000

 

 

 

 
6,000

Withholding for taxes on restricted stock unit conversions
 

 

 
(821
)
 

 

 

 
(821
)
Balance at September 25, 2016
 
36,549,400

 
$
365

 
$
137,199

 
$
(41,383
)
 
$
(3,777
)
 
$
(1,368
)
 
$
91,036




The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.

7




TRONC, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)

 
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
Operating Activities
 
 
 
 
Net loss
 
$
(12,879
)
 
$
(2,688
)
Adjustments to reconcile net loss to net cash provided by operating activities:
 
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization
 
42,799

 
40,161

Allowance for bad debt
 
8,278

 
6,178

Stock compensation expense
 
6,000

 
5,060

Withholding for taxes on RSU vesting
 
(821
)
 
(1,836
)
Gain on postretirement plan amendment
 

 
(7,799
)
Other non-cash
 
2,780

 
549

Changes in working capital items, excluding acquisitions:
 
 
 
 
Accounts receivable, net
 
47,279

 
42,878

Prepaid expenses, inventories and other current assets
 
(1,043
)
 
12,919

Accounts payable, employee compensation and benefits, deferred revenue and other current liabilities
 
(39,367
)
 
(37,627
)
Pension contribution
 
(8,856
)
 
(1,840
)
Non-current deferred revenue
 
(1,629
)
 
(1,358
)
Deferred income taxes
 
16,708

 
6,986

Postretirement medical, life and other benefits
 
(1,974
)
 
(1,936
)
Other, net
 
(1,801
)
 
1,680

Net cash provided by operating activities
 
55,474

 
61,327

 
 
 
 
 
Investing Activities
 
 
 
 
Capital expenditures
 
(15,893
)
 
(27,487
)
Acquisitions
 

 
(67,825
)
Restricted cash
 
17,003

 
10,504

Other, net
 
(1,826
)
 
(756
)
Net cash used for investing activities
 
$
(716
)
 
$
(85,564
)
 
 
 
 
 

The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.

8




TRONC, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS (continued)
(In thousands)
(Unaudited)

 
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
Financing Activities
 
 
 
 
Proceeds from issuance of common stock
 
$
113,318

 
$

Proceeds from issuance of debt
 

 
68,950

Purchase of treasury stock
 

 
(1,368
)
Payment of debt issuance costs
 

 
(2,741
)
Repayment of long-term debt
 
(15,817
)
 
(14,433
)
Net proceeds from revolving debt
 

 
10,000

Repayment of revolving debt
 

 
(10,000
)
Dividends paid to common stockholders
 
(4,851
)
 
(9,148
)
Repayments of capital lease obligations
 
(667
)
 

Proceeds from exercise of stock options
 
205

 
281

Excess tax benefits (expense) realized from exercise of stock-based awards
 
(653
)
 
672

Net cash provided by financing activities
 
91,535

 
42,213

 
 
 
 
 
Net increase in cash
 
146,293

 
17,976

Cash, beginning of period
 
40,832

 
36,675

Cash, end of period
 
$
187,125

 
$
54,651


The accompanying notes are an integral part of these unaudited consolidated financial statements.

9


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)



NOTE 1: DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESS AND BASIS OF PRESENTATION
Description of Business—tronc, Inc., formerly Tribune Publishing Company, and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Company” or “tronc”) comprise a diversified media and marketing-solutions company that delivers innovative experiences for audiences and advertisers across all platforms. The Company’s diverse portfolio of iconic news and information brands includes 11 award-winning major daily titles, more than 60 digital properties and more than 180 verticals in markets including Los Angeles and San Diego, Ca.; Chicago, Il.; South Florida; Orlando, Fl.; Baltimore, Carroll County and Annapolis, Md.; Hartford, Ct.; Allentown, Pa., and Newport News, Va.  tronc also offers an array of customized marketing solutions, and operates a number of niche products, including Hoy and El Sentinel, making tronc the country’s largest Spanish-language publisher.
Fiscal Periods—The Company’s fiscal year ends on the last Sunday in December. Fiscal year 2016 ends on December 25, 2016 and fiscal year 2015 ended on December 27, 2015; both fiscal years are 52-week years with 13 weeks in each quarter.
Basis of Presentation—The accompanying unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements and notes of the Company have been prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles (“U.S. GAAP”). The preparation of financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements and accompanying notes. Actual results could differ from these estimates. In the opinion of management, the financial statements contain all adjustments necessary to present fairly the financial position of tronc as of September 25, 2016 and December 27, 2015, the results of operations for the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015 and the cash flows for the nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015. This includes all normal and recurring adjustments and elimination of intercompany transactions. Results of operations for interim periods are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the full year. Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to current period classifications. The year-end Consolidated Balance Sheet was derived from audited financial statements, but does not include all disclosures required by U.S. GAAP.
The Company assesses its operating segments in accordance with ASC Topic 280, “Segment Reporting.” In the three months ended June 26, 2016, the Company realigned under its new management team into two distinct segments, troncM and troncX. troncM is comprised of the Company’s media groups excluding their digital revenues and related digital expenses, except digital subscription revenues when sold with a print subscription. troncX includes the Company’s digital revenues and related digital expenses from local websites and mobile applications, digital only subscriptions, as well as Tribune Content Agency (“TCA”) and Forsalebyowner.com (“FSBO”). The segregation of the digital business in troncX triggered an evaluation of the Company’s operating and reportable segments in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. Prior to the second quarter of fiscal 2016, tronc was managed by its chief operating decision maker, as defined by ASC Topic 280, as one business and one reportable segment. Beginning with the second quarter of fiscal 2016, tronc began managing its business as two distinct segments and, accordingly, has revised its segment reporting to two reportable segments. The prior periods have been restated to reflect the change in reportable segments. See Note 17 for additional segment information.
New Accounting Standards—In August 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2016-15, Topic 230, Statement of Cash Flows, which clarifies how companies present and classify certain cash receipts and cash payments in the statement of cash flows. ASU 2016-15 is effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017 and early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating how the adoption of this standard will impact the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Topic 718, Compensation—Stock Compensation. This standard makes several modifications to Topic 718 related to the accounting for forfeitures, employer tax withholding on share-based compensation and the financial statement presentation of excess tax benefits or deficiencies. ASU 2016-09 also clarifies the statement of cash flows presentation for certain components of share-based awards. The standard is effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016, although early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently assessing how the adoption of this standard will impact the Company’s results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.

10


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, Topic 842, Leases. This standard will require the recognition of lease assets and lease liabilities by lessees for operating leases. This ASU is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently in the process of assessing the impact of ASU 2016-02 on the Company’s results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
In July 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-11, Topic 330, Simplifying the Measurement of Inventory. This ASU requires an entity to measure inventory at the lower of cost or net realizable value, which consists of the estimated selling prices in the ordinary course of business, less reasonably predictable cost of completion, disposal, and transportation. This ASU is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The guidance is to be applied prospectively. The Company adopted the standard in the first quarter of 2016. The adoption of this standard had no effect on the Company’s results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
In April 2015, the FASB issued ASU 2015-05, Customer’s Accounting for Fees Paid in a Cloud Computing Arrangement, which provides guidance to customers about whether a cloud computing arrangement includes a software license. If a cloud computing arrangement includes a software license, the customer should account for the software license element of the arrangement consistent with the acquisition of other software licenses. If the arrangement does not include a software license, the customer should account for a cloud computing arrangement as a service contract. This ASU is effective for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2015. The Company adopted the standard as of the first quarter of 2016 and is applying the standard prospectively. The adoption of this standard had no effect on the Company’s results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU 2014-09, Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers and issued subsequent amendments to the initial guidance in August 2015, March 2016, April 2016 and May 2016 within ASU 2015-14, ASU 2016-08, ASU 2016-10 and ASU 2016-12, respectively. The new standard supersedes a majority of existing revenue recognition guidance under U.S. GAAP, and requires a company to recognize revenue when it transfers goods or services to a customer in an amount that reflects the consideration to which a company expects to be entitled. Companies may need to use more judgment and make more estimates while recognizing revenue, which could result in additional disclosures to the financial statements. ASU 2014-09 allows for either a “full retrospective” adoption or a “modified retrospective” adoption. The amended effective date of ASU 2014-09 is for reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017. Companies are permitted to voluntarily adopt the new standard as of the original effective date which was reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016. The Company expects to adopt this standard on January 1, 2018. The Company is currently evaluating the revenue recognition impact this guidance will have once implemented and the implementation approach to be used.
NOTE 2: PROCEEDINGS UNDER CHAPTER 11
Chapter 11 Reorganization—On December 8, 2008, Tribune Media Company, formerly Tribune Company (“TCO”) and 110 of its direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries (each a “Debtor” and, collectively, the “Debtors”), filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 (“Chapter 11”) of title 11 of the United States Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the “Bankruptcy Court”). A joint plan of reorganization for the Debtors (the “Plan”) became effective and the Debtors emerged from Chapter 11 on December 31, 2012 (the “Effective Date”). Certain of the legal entities included in the Consolidated Financial Statements of tronc were Debtors or, as a result of the restructuring transactions undertaken pursuant to the Plan, are successor legal entities to legal entities that were Debtors (collectively, the “tronc Debtors”).
On April 12, 2012, the Debtors and the official committee of unsecured creditors and creditors under certain TCO prepetition debt facilities filed the Plan with the Bankruptcy Court. On July 23, 2012, the Bankruptcy Court issued the Confirmation Order. Several notices of appeal of the Confirmation Order were filed. The appellants sought, among other relief, to overturn the Confirmation Order and certain prior orders of the Bankruptcy Court, including the settlement of certain claims and causes of action related to the Leveraged ESOP Transactions that was embodied in the Plan. There is currently no stay of the Confirmation Order in place pending resolution of the confirmation-related appeals. In January 2013, TCO filed a motion before the Delaware District Court to dismiss the appeals as equitably moot, based on the substantial consummation of the Plan. On June 18, 2014, the Delaware District Court entered an order granting in part and denying in part the motion to dismiss. On July 16, 2014, notices of appeal of the Delaware District Court’s order were filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit by Aurelius, Law Debenture, and Deutsche Bank. On August 19, 2015, the Third Circuit affirmed the Delaware District Court’s dismissal of Aurelius’s appeal of the Confirmation Order. The

11


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


Third Circuit, however, reversed the Delaware District Court’s dismissal of Law Debenture’s and Deutsche Bank’s appeals of the Confirmation Order, and remanded those appeals for further proceedings on the merits. On September 11, 2015, the Third Circuit denied Aurelius’s petition for en banc review of the court’s decision and on January 11, 2016, Aurelius filed a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. That petition was denied on March 31, 2016.
Prior to December 27, 2015, the Chapter 11 estates of 96 of the Debtors were closed by a final decree issued by the Bankruptcy Court. On May 11, 2016, the Chapter 11 estates of 8 more of the Debtors were closed by a final decree issued by the Bankruptcy Court. On August 12, 2016, the Chapter 11 estates of 2 more of the Debtors, including the last one of the tronc Debtors’ cases, were closed by a final decree issued by the Bankruptcy Court. The remaining Chapter 11 cases relate to Debtors and successor legal entities that are subsidiaries of TCO and the cases continue to be administered under the caption “In re: Tribune Media Company, et al.,” Case No 08-13141.
Reorganization Items, Net—Reorganization items, net, generally includes provisions and adjustments to reflect the carrying value of certain prepetition liabilities at their estimated allowable claim amounts and, pursuant to ASC Topic 852, “Reorganizations,” is reported separately in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss). Reorganization items, net, may also include professional advisory fees and other costs directly associated with the Debtors’ Chapter 11 cases.
Specifically identifiable reorganization provisions, adjustments and other costs directly related to the Company have been included in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss) for the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015 and consisted of the following (in thousands):
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
Reorganization costs, net:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contract rejections and claim settlements
 
(75
)
 

 
(75
)
 
(15
)
Other, net
 
(18
)
 
80

 
(161
)
 
(758
)
Total reorganization costs, net
 
$
(93
)
 
$
80

 
$
(236
)
 
$
(773
)
The Company expects to incur certain expenses pertaining to the resolution of an unresolved claim in the Chapter 11 proceedings throughout 2016 and potentially in future periods.
NOTE 3: CHANGES IN OPERATIONS
Employee Reductions—In the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company offered an Employee Voluntary Separation Program (EVSP), which provided enhanced separation benefits to eligible non-union employees with more than one year of service.  The Company is funding the EVSP ratably over the payout period through salary continuation instead of lump sum severance payments. The salary continuation started in the fourth quarter of 2015 and continues through the first half of 2018. For the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016, the Company recorded an additional charge of $0.8 million and $9.7 million, respectively, for related severance, benefits and taxes in connection with the EVSP. 
During the first quarter of 2016, the Company began the process to outsource its information technology function (“ITO”). The Company recorded a pretax charge of $1.5 million and $4.4 million for the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016, respectively, for severance, benefits and taxes in connection with the ITO, and expects a total estimated cost of $7.0 million.
In addition to the ITO, the Company implemented additional reductions of 56 and 168 positions in the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016, respectively, and recorded a pretax charge related to these reductions and executive separations of $1.5 million and $10.4 million, respectively.
The Company identified reductions in its staffing levels of 24 and 298 in the three and nine months ended September 27, 2015, respectively. The Company recorded pretax charges related to these reductions of $2.8 million and $6.2 million for the three and nine months ended September 27, 2015, respectively.

12


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


A summary of the activity with respect to the Company’s severance accrual for the nine months ended September 25, 2016 is as follows (in thousands):
Balance at December 27, 2015
 
$
43,737

Provision
 
24,499

Payments
 
(45,495
)
Balance at September 25, 2016
 
$
22,741

Charges for severance and related expenses are included in compensation expense in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss).
Lease Abandonment—In the third quarter of 2016, the Company permanently vacated approximately 200,000 sq. ft. of office space in the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times buildings and took a charge of $8.5 million related to the abandonment. These charges are included in other operating expenses in the accompanying Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss).
NOTE 4: RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
Aircraft Dry Sublease
One of the Company’s subsidiaries, Tribune Publishing Company, LLC (“TPC”), entered into an Aircraft Dry Sublease Agreement, which became effective as of February 4, 2016, with Merrick Ventures, LLC (“Merrick Ventures”). Michael W. Ferro, Jr., the non-executive Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, is chairman and chief executive officer of Merrick Ventures. Under the agreement, TPC has subleased on a non-exclusive basis, a Bombardier aircraft leased by Merrick Ventures, at a cost, including TPC’s proportionate share of the insurance premiums and maintenance expenses, of $8,500 per flight hour flown. TPC also is responsible for charges attributable to the operation of the aircraft by TPC during the lease term. The initial term of the sublease is one year, which term automatically will be renewed on an annual basis. Either party may terminate the agreement upon 30 days written notice to the other. During the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016, the Company incurred $0.8 million and $2.1 million, respectively, related to the aircraft sublease, of which $1.1 million has been reimbursed to Merrick Ventures and $0.2 million has been paid to an outside party for pilot services.
Aggrego Agreement
On March 2, 2016, the Company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Aggrego Services, LLC (“Aggrego”) to place widgets on the Company’s publication websites which link to related content on Aggrego’s websites, and to allocate a defined percentage of the revenue received from advertising relating to such content to the Company. The Company paid Aggrego $0.4 million at inception of the agreement. Wrapports, LLC owns over 50% of Aggrego. Mr. Ferro, through Merrick Ventures, was a significant interest holder and served as non-executive chairman of Wrapports, LLC. On March 10, 2016, Merrick Media, LLC and Merrick Ventures divested their ownership interests in Wrapports, LLC. As a result, the agreement with Aggrego is not considered a related party transaction after March 10, 2016. See Note 8 for more information related to this agreement.
Nant Capital, LLC
In connection with the private placement described in Note 14, the Company entered into a term sheet with NantWorks, LLC for a co-exclusive, non-transferable, fee-bearing license pursuant to which the Company will receive access to over 100 machine vision and artificial intelligence technology patents for news media applications as well as access to and use of studio space made available by NantStudio, LLC, a subsidiary of NantWorks, LLC. Under the term sheet, the Company will issue to NantStudio, LLC 333,333 shares of common stock and will be entitled to retain the first $80 million in revenues derived from the licensed patents royalty free, after which the Company will pay to NantWorks a 6% royalty on subsequent revenues. There can be no assurance that the terms described in the term sheet will ultimately be reflected in binding, definitive agreements.

13


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


NOTE 5: ACQUISITIONS
The San Diego Union-Tribune
On May 21, 2015, the Company completed the acquisition of MLIM, LLC (“MLIM”), the indirect owner of The San Diego Union-Tribune (f/k/a the U-T San Diego) and nine community weeklies and related digital properties in San Diego County, California, pursuant to the Membership Interest Purchase Agreement (the “Agreement”), dated May 7, 2015, among the Company, MLIM Holdings, LLC, the Papa Doug Trust under the agreement dated January 11, 2010, Douglas F. Manchester and Douglas W. Manchester, and MLIM, as amended effective May 21, 2015. As of the closing of the transaction, the Company acquired 100% of the equity interests in MLIM. The results of operations of The San Diego Union-Tribune have been included in the consolidated financial statements since the closing date of the acquisition. The allocation of the purchase price is based upon fair values. The inputs for fair value are level 3. The determination of the fair value of the intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed has been completed and the final allocation of the purchase price is as follows (in thousands):
Consideration
 
 
Consideration for acquisition, less cash acquired and working capital adjustments
 
$
78,864

Less: Shares issued for acquisition
 
(11,039
)
Cash consideration for acquisition
 
$
67,825

 
 
 
Allocated Fair Value of Acquired Assets and Assumed Liabilities
 
 
Accounts receivable and other current assets
 
$
12,408

Property, plant and equipment
 
1,869

Intangible assets subject to amortization:
 
 
  Subscriber relationships (useful life of 3 to 9 years)
 
17,320

  Advertiser relationships (useful life of 3 to 8 years)
 
15,571

  Other customer relationships (useful life of 1 year)
 
432

Mastheads and intangible assets not subject to amortization
 
31,204

Deferred taxes
 
34,156

Other long-term assets
 
10,799

Accounts payable and other current liabilities
 
(20,808
)
Pension and postemployment benefits liability
 
(85,389
)
Other long-term liabilities
 
(13,026
)
Total identifiable net assets (liabilities)
 
4,536

Goodwill
 
74,328

Total net assets acquired
 
78,864

During the second quarter 2016, the Company completed the determination of the fair value of the intangible assets and liabilities. As a result, the fair value for the intangible assets for subscriber relationships was increased by $8.0 million from the original value of $9.3 million to $17.3 million. A corresponding decrease in goodwill was also recorded, adjusting goodwill from the original value of $82.3 million to $74.3 million. The cumulative impact of the change on amortization expense is not material.
Other
In June 2016, the Company purchased the Pacific Magazine for approximately $0.6 million, and has classified $0.3 million of this purchase as an intangible asset.

14


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


NOTE 6: INVENTORIES
Inventories consisted of the following (in thousands):
 
 
As of
 
 
September 25, 2016
 
December 27, 2015
Newsprint
 
$
12,299

 
$
13,301

Supplies and other
 
545

 
387

Total inventories
 
$
12,844

 
$
13,688

Inventories are stated at the lower of cost and net realizable value determined using the first-in, first-out (“FIFO”) basis for all inventories.
NOTE 7: GOODWILL AND OTHER INTANGIBLE ASSETS
In accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic No. 350, “Intangibles-Goodwill and Other” (“ASC Topic 350”), the Company conducts an annual impairment review of its goodwill and other indefinite-lived intangible assets during the fourth quarter. The impairment review includes a comparison of estimated fair values to book values at the reporting unit level and must be performed annually or more frequently if significant changes in circumstances (“triggering events”) indicate that an asset might be impaired.
During the second quarter 2016, the Company realigned under its new management team into two distinct segments: troncM and troncX. As part of the re-segmentation, the Company determined that the nine media groups and the four digital businesses are the reporting units at which goodwill will be evaluated. See Note 17 for additional segment information.
The re-segmentation of the digital business in troncX is considered a triggering event and as part of the re-segmentation, in the second quarter of 2016, the Company performed an interim assessment of the carrying value of its individual ASC Topic 350 reporting units as of immediately before and immediately after the re-segmentation. The calculated fair value was determined using an average of the discounted cash flow method and the market comparable method, applying equal weight to both. The calculated fair value uses level 3 inputs. Estimates of fair value are subjective in nature, involve uncertainties and matters of significant judgment and are made at a specific point in time. Thus, changes in key assumptions from period to period could significantly affect the estimates of fair value. Significant assumptions used in the fair value estimates include projected revenues and related growth rates over time (the perpetuity growth rates used ranged from (0.3)% to 2.5%), forecasted revenue growth rates (forecasted revenue growth ranged from (4.4%) to 3.3%), projected operating cash flow margins, estimated tax rates, depreciation expense, capital expenditures, required working capital needs, and an appropriate risk-adjusted weighted-average cost of capital (the weighted average cost of capital used for troncM was 10.0% and for troncX was 12.0%).
Based on the assessments performed, the estimated fair value of all of the Company’s reporting units exceeded their carrying amounts.

15


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


Goodwill and other intangible assets at September 25, 2016 and December 27, 2015 consisted of the following (in thousands):
 
 
September 25, 2016
 
December 27, 2015
 
 
Gross Amount
 
Accumulated Amortization
 
Net Amount
 
Gross Amount
 
Accumulated Amortization
 
Net Amount
Intangible assets subject to amortization
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Subscribers (useful life of 2 to 10 years)
 
$
25,814

 
$
(6,488
)
 
$
19,326

 
$
17,819

 
$
(4,081
)
 
$
13,738

Advertiser relationships (useful life of 2 to 13 years)
 
44,271

 
(10,884
)
 
33,387

 
43,937

 
(7,863
)
 
36,074

Affiliate agreements (useful life of 4 years)
 
11,929

 
(11,183
)
 
746

 
12,361

 
(9,415
)
 
2,946

Tradenames (useful life of 20 years)
 
15,100

 
(1,627
)
 
13,473

 
15,100

 
(1,063
)
 
14,037

Other (useful life of 1 to 20 years)
 
5,541

 
(1,825
)
 
3,716

 
5,540

 
(1,477
)
 
4,063

Total intangible assets subject to amortization
 
$
102,655

 
$
(32,007
)
 
$
70,648

 
$
94,757

 
$
(23,899
)
 
$
70,858

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Goodwill and other intangible assets not subject to amortization
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Goodwill
 
 
 
 
 
116,331

 
 
 
 
 
123,992

Newspaper mastheads and other intangible assets not subject to amortization
 
 
 
 
 
64,304

 
 
 
 
 
63,004

Total goodwill and other intangible assets
 
 
 
 
 
$
251,283

 
 
 
 
 
$
257,854

The changes in the carrying amounts of intangible assets not subject to amortization during the nine months ended September 25, 2016 were as follows (in thousands):
 
 
Other intangible assets not subject to amortization
Balance at December 27, 2015
 
$
63,004

Purchases
 
1,300

Balance at September 25, 2016
 
$
64,304

In February 2016, the Company purchased the domain name LA.com for $1.2 million and has classified this purchase as an indefinite-lived intangible asset.
NOTE 8: INVESTMENTS
Investments consist of equity method investments in private companies totaling $3.9 million and $3.7 million at September 25, 2016 and December 27, 2015, respectively:
 
 
% Owned
Company
 
September 25, 2016
 
December 27, 2015
CIPS Marketing Group, Inc.
 
50
%
 
50
%
Homefinder.com, LLC
 
33
%
 
33
%
Nucleus Marketing Solutions, LLC
 
25
%
 
%
Contend, LLC
 
%
 
20
%
Jean Knows Cars, LLC
 
20
%
 
20
%
Matter Ventures Fund II
 
15
%
 
15
%

16


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


The Company utilizes the services of CIPS Marketing Group, Inc. for local marketing efforts such as distribution, door-to-door marketing and total market coverage. During the three and nine month periods ended September 25, 2016, the Company recorded $0.3 million and $0.8 million, respectively, in revenue and $2.7 million and $8.5 million, respectively, in other operating expenses related to such marketing services. During the three and nine month periods ended September 27, 2015, the Company recorded $0.3 million and $0.7 million, respectively, in revenue and $2.8 million and $8.2 million, respectively, in other operating expenses related to such marketing services.
In February 2016, Homefinder.com LLC (“Homefinder”) sold substantially all of its operating assets and liabilities, excluding cash, to Placester, Inc. (“Placester”) for stock representing 0.75% of outstanding Placester stock. Homefinder is in the process of winding down its operations. Once complete, Homefinder will distribute the Placester stock and remaining cash to the owners of Homefinder in proportion to their ownership interests. The carrying value of the Company’s investment in Homefinder is not material.
In April 2016, tronc, along with other leading media companies McClatchy, Gannett and Hearst, formed Nucleus Marketing Solutions, LLC (“Nucleus”). This premier network will connect national advertisers to highly engaged audiences across existing and emerging digital platforms. Nucleus will work with its marketing partners to address their goals by offering integrated services across all platforms. The Company owns 25% of Nucleus and funded its initial investment of $1.8 million in the second quarter of 2016. The Company’s interest in Nucleus is recorded as an equity method investment. During the three month period ended September 25, 2016, the Company recorded $2.1 million on a net basis for revenue related to the Nucleus agreement.
In March 2016, Contend, LLC (“Contend”) exercised its option to repurchase its Class A units from the Company. The Company received $1.2 million for the units and recorded a gain of $0.4 million on the transaction. Also in March 2016, the Company determined the recorded value of Jean Knows Cars, LLC was impaired and recorded a $0.4 million reduction in the carrying value of the investment.
As discussed in Note 4, on March 2, 2016, the Company entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Aggrego (the “Aggrego Agreement”). In connection with the Aggrego Agreement, effective July 31, 2016, Aggrego granted the Company a warrant that gives the Company the right to purchase 1,039,474 Class Q Common Units of Aggrego for an exercise price of $1.00 per unit. The exercise period of the warrant is from July 31, 2016 to July 31, 2018.
NOTE 9: DEBT
At September 25, 2016, the Company had $384.9 million in variable-rate debt outstanding under the Term Loan Credit Agreement, as defined below. The weighted average interest rate for the variable-rate debt is 5.75%. At September 25, 2016, the fair value of borrowings outstanding under the Term Loan Credit Agreement was estimated to be $382.0 million based on level 2 inputs, because the fair value for these instruments is determined using observable inputs in non-active markets. Level 2 inputs include quoted market prices in markets that are not active; quoted prices of assets or liabilities with similar attributes in active markets; or valuation models whose inputs are observable or unobservable but corroborated by market data.
Senior Term Facility
On August 4, 2014, the Company entered into a credit agreement (as amended, amended and restated or supplemented, the “Term Loan Credit Agreement”) with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent and collateral agent (in such capacity, the “Term Collateral Agent”), and the lenders party thereto (the “Senior Term Facility”). The Senior Term Facility originally provided for secured loans (the “Term Loans”) in the aggregate principal amount of $350.0 million. The Senior Term Facility initially provided that it could be expanded by an amount up to (i) the greater of $100.0 million and an amount as will not cause the net senior secured leverage ratio after giving effect to such incurrence to exceed 2:1 plus (ii) an amount equal to all voluntary prepayments of the term loans borrowed under the Senior Term Facility, subject to certain conditions. In 2015, $70 million of the expansion was drawn for the acquisition of The San Diego Union-Tribune. As of September 25, 2016, total principal outstanding under the Term Loans was $384.9 million. The Term Loans bear interest at a variable interest rate based on either LIBOR or a base rate, in either case plus an applicable margin. The Term Loans amortize in equal quarterly installments equal to 1.25% of principal amounts borrowed against the Senior Term Facility with the balance payable on the maturity date, August 4, 2021. The Company is the borrower under the Senior Term Facility and

17


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


each of the Company’s wholly-owned domestic subsidiaries, subject to certain exceptions (the “Subsidiary Guarantors”), guarantee the payment obligations under the Senior Term Facility. The Senior Term Facility contains a number of covenants that, among other things, limit the ability of the Company and its restricted subsidiaries to: incur more indebtedness; pay dividends; redeem stock or make other distributions in respect of equity; make investments; and certain other usual and customary covenants. As of September 25, 2016, the unamortized balance of the original issue discount was $3.3 million and the unamortized balance of the debt issuance costs associated with the Term Loans was $7.9 million. As of September 25, 2016, the Company was in compliance with the covenants of the Senior Term Facility.
Senior ABL Facility
On August 4, 2014, the Company and the Subsidiary Guarantors entered into a credit agreement (the “ABL Credit Agreement”) with Bank of America, N.A., as administrative agent, collateral agent (in such capacity, the “ABL Collateral Agent”), swing line lender and letter of credit issuer and the lenders party thereto (the “Senior ABL Facility”). The Senior ABL Facility will mature on August 4, 2019. The Senior ABL Facility provides for senior secured revolving loans and letters of credit of up to a maximum aggregate principal amount of $140.0 million. Up to $75.0 million of availability under the Senior ABL Facility is available for letters of credit and up to $15.0 million of availability under the Senior ABL Facility is available for swing line loans. The Senior ABL Facility also permits the Company to increase the commitments under the Senior ABL Facility by up to $75.0 million. The Senior ABL Facility bears interest at a variable interest rate based on either LIBOR or a base rate, in either case plus an applicable margin. tronc, Inc. and the Subsidiary Guarantors are the borrowers under the Senior ABL Facility. tronc, Inc. and the Subsidiary Guarantors guarantee the payment obligations under the Senior ABL Facility. The Senior ABL Facility contains a number of covenants that, among other things, limit the ability of tronc and its restricted subsidiaries to: incur more indebtedness; pay dividends; redeem stock or make other distributions in respect of equity; make investments; and certain other usual and customary covenants. Customary fees are payable in respect of the Senior ABL Facility, including commitment fees of 0.25% and letter of credit fees. As of September 25, 2016, there were no borrowings under the Senior ABL Facility and $40.5 million of the Senior ABL Facility availability supported outstanding undrawn letters of credit in the same amount.
Letter of Credit Agreement
On August 4, 2014, the Company and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as letter of credit issuer (the “L/C Issuer”) entered into a letter of credit agreement (the “Letter of Credit Agreement”). The Letter of Credit Agreement provides for the issuance of standby letters of credit of up to a maximum aggregate principal face of $30.0 million. The Letter of Credit Agreement permits the Company, at the sole discretion of L/C Issuer, to request an increase of the amount available to be issued under the Letter of Credit Agreement up to an aggregate maximum face amount of $50.0 million. The Letter of Credit Agreement is scheduled to terminate on August 4, 2019.
During the quarter ended September 27, 2015, the Company was notified that an outstanding letter of credit agreement was reduced from $27.5 million to $17.0 million. Accordingly, the Company received $10.5 million released from the restricted cash collateral account during the quarter. During the quarter ended September 25, 2016, the Company closed its outstanding letter of credit and moved the letter of credit to Bank of America, N.A. under the Senior ABL facility. This transaction allowed for the release of the remaining $17.0 million held as restricted cash. As of September 25, 2016, the Company had no outstanding undrawn letters of credit against the Letter of Credit Agreement.
Capital Leases
The Company has capital leases on technology licenses and trucks. The total balance outstanding as of September 25, 2016 for capital leases was $1.8 million, of which $0.5 million is in short-term debt.
NOTE 10: INCOME TAXES
For the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016, the Company recorded income tax expense of $4.4 million and $3.3 million, respectively. The effective tax rate on pretax income was (71.1)% and (34.5)% in the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016, respectively. For the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016, the rate differs from the U.S. federal statutory rate of 35% primarily due to a $7.1 million charge to adjust the Company’s deferred taxes, as described below, state income taxes, net of federal benefit, and nondeductible expenses. For the three and nine months ended

18


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


September 27, 2015, the Company recorded income tax benefit of $6.3 million and $2.8 million, respectively. The effective tax rate on pretax income was 42.5% and 51.0% in the three and nine months ended September 27, 2015, respectively. During the three months ended June 28, 2015, the Company increased the estimated deferred tax rate on net deferred tax assets from 39.5% to 40.0%, which resulted in a decrease in the current period income tax expense of $0.5 million. For the three and nine months ended September 27, 2015, the rate differs from the U.S. federal statutory rate of 35% primarily due to state income taxes, net of federal benefit, nondeductible expenses and the domestic production activities deduction, as well as the above described change in the deferred tax rate that was applied to non-current deferred tax assets and liabilities.
During September 2016, TCO reached a resolution with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) regarding a pre-spin tax issue. In connection with the resolution and in conjunction with the tax rules applicable to emergence from bankruptcy, TCO has adjusted the previously determined tax basis of its assets as of December 31, 2012. This adjustment affected the tax basis of the assets and liabilities, including the deferred tax liability, transferred to the Company as part of TCO’s August 4, 2014 spin-off of its publishing operations. As a result of the IRS resolution, the Company recorded a reduction in tax basis of the shares in the Company transferred from TCO against the basis in TPC stock, a subsidiary of the Company, by $17.7 million, which resulted in an additional $7.1 million deferred tax liability and a $7.1 million charge to tax expense during the quarter ended September 25, 2016.
NOTE 11: PENSION AND OTHER POSTRETIREMENT BENEFITS
Multiemployer Pension Plans—The Company contributes to a number of multiemployer defined benefit pension plans under the terms of collective-bargaining agreements that cover its union-represented employees.
Defined Benefit Plans—As part of the acquisition of The San Diego Union-Tribune in May 2015, the Company became the sponsor of a single-employer defined benefit plan, The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC Retirement Plan (the “San Diego Pension Plan”). The San Diego Pension Plan provides benefits to certain current and former employees of The San Diego Union-Tribune. Future benefits under the San Diego Pension Plan have been frozen since January 1, 2009. The Company contributed $8.9 million to the San Diego Pension Plan in the first nine months of 2016 and expects to contribute an additional $1.9 million to the San Diego Pension Plan during the remainder of 2016. The components of net periodic benefit credit for the Company’s defined benefit plan were as follows (in thousands):
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 25, 2016
Interest cost
 
$
1,875

 
$
5,625

Expected return on assets
 
(2,450
)
 
(7,350
)
Net periodic benefit credit
 
$
(575
)
 
$
(1,725
)
Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pensions—The Company provides postretirement health care to retirees pursuant to a number of benefit plans. There is some variation in the provisions of these plans, including different provisions for lifetime maximums, prescription drug coverage and certain other benefits. In the first quarter of 2015, the Company notified plan members that the Company was no longer going to offer a life insurance benefit effective December 27, 2015. The impact of this plan modification was to reduce the postretirement medical, life and other benefits liability by $7.8 million and to recognize a gain of the same amount to compensation expense. The components of net periodic benefit credit for the Company’s postretirement health care and life insurance plans were as follows (in thousands):

19


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
Service cost
 
$
9

 
$
65

 
$
28

 
$
197

Interest cost
 
70

 
164

 
211

 
555

Amortization of prior service credits
 
(439
)
 
(701
)
 
208

 
(2,103
)
Amortization of (gain) loss
 

 
(609
)
 

 
(1,245
)
 
 
(360
)
 
(1,081
)
 
447

 
(2,596
)
Curtailment gain
 

 

 

 
(7,799
)
Net periodic benefit cost (credit) after curtailment gain
 
$
(360
)
 
$
(1,081
)
 
$
447

 
$
(10,395
)
NOTE 12: STOCK-BASED COMPENSATION
The tronc, Inc. 2014 Omnibus Incentive Plan, as amended (the “Equity Plan”), provides for the granting of stock options, stock appreciation rights, restricted stock units (“RSU”), performance share units, restricted and unrestricted stock awards, dividend equivalents and cash awards. Stock-based compensation expense under the Equity Plan totaled $2.2 million and $2.1 million during the three months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015, respectively, and $6.0 million and $5.1 million during the nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015, respectively.
In the nine months ended September 25, 2016, 546,154 options and 942,300 RSUs were granted under the Equity Plan. The weighted average exercise price of stock options granted during 2016 was $14.71. The weighted average grant date fair value of the RSUs granted during 2016 was $14.28.
As of September 25, 2016, the Company has $3.6 million of total unrecognized compensation costs related to unvested options, which is expected to be recognized over a weighted-average period of 2.54 years. Additionally, as of September 25, 2016, the Company has $17.2 million of total unrecognized compensation cost related to unvested RSUs, which is expected to be recognized over a weighted-average period of 2.30 years.
NOTE 13: EARNINGS PER SHARE
Basic earnings per common share is calculated by dividing net income attributable to tronc common stockholders by the weighted average number of shares of common stock outstanding. Diluted earnings per common share is similarly calculated, except that the calculation includes the dilutive effect of the assumed issuance of common shares under equity-based compensation plans, except where the inclusion of such common shares would have an anti-dilutive impact.

20


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


For the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015, basic and diluted earnings per common share were as follows (in thousands, except per share amounts):
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
September 25, 2016

September 27, 2015
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
Income (Loss) - Numerator:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss available to tronc stockholders plus assumed conversions
$
(10,472
)
 
$
(8,601
)
 
$
(12,879
)
 
$
(2,688
)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Shares - Denominator:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding (basic)
36,415

 
26,321

 
32,908

 
25,908

Dilutive effect of employee stock options and RSUs

 

 

 

Adjusted weighted average shares outstanding (diluted)
36,415

 
26,321

 
32,908

 
25,908

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
(0.29
)
 
$
(0.33
)
 
$
(0.39
)
 
$
(0.10
)
Diluted
$
(0.29
)
 
$
(0.33
)
 
$
(0.39
)
 
$
(0.10
)
Potential dilutive common shares were anti-dilutive as a result of the Company’s net loss for the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015, respectively. As a result, basic weighted average shares were used in the calculations of basic net earnings per share and diluted earnings per share for those periods.
The number of stock options that were excluded from the computation of diluted earnings per share because their inclusion would result in an anti-dilutive effect on per share amounts was 1,339,604 and 1,023,033 for both the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015, respectively. The number of RSUs that were excluded from the computation of diluted earnings per share because their inclusion would result in an anti-dilutive effect on per share amounts was 1,375,501 and 1,004,468 for both the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015, respectively.
NOTE 14: STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
Shareholder Rights Agreement
On May 9, 2016, the Board of Directors of the Company adopted a limited duration Shareholder Rights Plan (“Rights Plan”). Under the terms of the Rights Plan, except in certain situations, the rights will be exercisable 10 days from the public announcement that a person or group has acquired 20% or more of the common stock of tronc, Inc. or has commenced a tender offer which would result in the ownership of 20% or more of tronc’s common stock. If the rights become exercisable and a person or group acquires 20% or more of tronc’s common stock, each holder of a right, other than the person triggering the rights, will be entitled to receive upon exercise of a right that number of shares of tronc’s common stock having a market value of two times the exercise price of the right. The Rights Plan will expire on May 8, 2017.
The Board of Directors declared a distribution of one preferred share purchase right (a “Right,” and collectively, the “Rights”) for each outstanding share of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the Company, to purchase from the Company one one-thousandth of a share of Series A Preferred Stock, par value $0.01 per share, of the Company (the “Preferred Stock”) at a price of $75.00 per one one-thousandth of a share of Preferred Stock (the “Exercise Price”), subject to adjustment as provided in the Shareholder Rights Agreement (as described below). The distribution was made to stockholders of record at the close of business on May 19, 2016 (the “Record Date”). The description and terms of the Rights are set forth in a rights agreement, dated as of May 9, 2016, as the same may be amended from time to time (the “Shareholder Rights Agreement”), by and between the Company and Computershare Trust Company, N.A., as rights agent (the “Rights Agent”).

21


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


Private Placements
Nant Capital, LLC
On June 1, 2016, the Company completed a $70.5 million private placement, pursuant to which the Company sold to Nant Capital, LLC (“Nant Capital”) 4,700,000 unregistered shares of the Company’s common stock at a purchase price of $15.00 per share. The Company intends to use the $70.4 million net proceeds from the sale to further execute on its growth strategy, including acquisitions and digital initiatives. The shares of common stock acquired by Nant Capital (the “Nant Shares”) are subject to certain lockup provisions that, subject to the terms and conditions set out in the purchase agreement dated May 22, 2016, among the Company, Nant Capital and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong (the “Nant Purchase Agreement”) prohibit certain transfers of the Nant Shares for the first three years following the date of issuance and, thereafter, any transfers of the Nant Shares that would result in a transfer of more than 25% of the Nant Shares in any 12-month period. The Nant Purchase Agreement also includes covenants prohibiting the transfer of shares of the Company’s common stock if the transfer would result in a person beneficially owning more than 4.9% of the Company’s then-outstanding shares of common stock following the transfer, as well as transfers to a material competitor of the Company in any of the Company’s then-existing primary geographical markets. Nant Capital and Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, and their respective affiliates, are also prohibited from acquiring additional equity of the Company if the acquisition could result in their beneficial ownership of more than 25% of the Company’s then-outstanding shares of common stock.
In connection with the private placement, Dr. Soon-Shiong was elected to fill a newly-created position on the Company’s Board of Directors and was named non-executive Vice Chairman of the Board as of the date of the Company’s 2016 Annual Meeting of Stockholders on June 2, 2016. The Company granted Dr. Soon-Shiong the right to designate a replacement individual for election as a director at each annual and special meeting of the Company’s stockholders at which directors are to be elected as part of the slate of nominees recommended by the Board, subject to the reasonable prior approval of the Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, in the event that Dr. Soon-Shiong is unable to continue to serve as a director. Nant Capital’s right to appoint a replacement director representative will expire upon the occurrence of either (a) the termination of the voting covenants described in the Nant Purchase Agreement or (b) at such time as Nant Capital, Dr. Soon-Shiong and their respective affiliates no longer beneficially own at least 75% of the shares originally acquired through the Nant Purchase Agreement.
Additionally, in connection with the private placement, the Company entered into a registration rights agreement (the “Nant Rights Agreement”) with Nant Capital. Pursuant to the Nant Rights Agreement, Nant Capital will be entitled to certain registration rights under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), with respect to the Nant Shares. The Nant Rights Agreement provides that the Company shall use its reasonable best efforts to cause a registration statement with respect to the Nant Shares to be declared effective no later than the earlier to occur of (a) three years after the consummation of the private placement transaction contemplated by the Nant Purchase Agreement and (b) 60 days after the termination of the voting covenants of the Nant Purchase Agreement as described above. The Company will pay all of its own costs and expenses, including all fees and expenses of counsel for the Company, relating to the Nant Rights Agreement.
California Capital Equity, LLC (“CalCap”) directly owns all of the equity interests of Nant Capital and CalCap may be deemed to have beneficial ownership of the shares held by Nant Capital. Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong directly owns all of the equity interests of CalCap and may be deemed to beneficially own, and share voting power and investment power with Nant Capital over all shares of tronc common stock beneficially owned by Nant Capital. Dr. Soon-Shiong directly owns 410,557 shares of tronc common stock and beneficially owns 14.03% of tronc common stock as of September 25, 2016.
Merrick Media, LLC
On February 3, 2016, the Company completed a $44.4 million private placement, pursuant to which the Company sold to Merrick Media, LLC (“Merrick Media”) 5,220,000 shares of the Company’s common stock at a purchase price of $8.50 per share. The Company intends to use the $42.9 million net proceeds from the sale to execute further on its growth strategy, including acquisitions and digital initiatives. The shares of common stock acquired by Merrick Media (the “Merrick Shares”) are subject to certain lockup provisions that, subject to the terms and conditions set out in the purchase agreement dated February 3, 2016 among the Company, Merrick Media and Mr. Ferro (the “Merrick Purchase Agreement”), prohibit certain transfers of the Merrick Shares for the first three years following the date of issuance and, thereafter, any transfers of the Merrick Shares that would result in a transfer of more than 25% of the Merrick Shares purchased under the Merrick

22


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


Purchase Agreement in any 12-month period.  The Merrick Purchase Agreement also includes covenants prohibiting the transfer of the Merrick Shares if the transfer would result in a person beneficially owning more than 4.9% of the Company’s then-outstanding shares of common stock following the transfer, as well as transfers to a material competitor of the Company in any of the then-existing primary geographical markets.  Merrick Media and Mr. Ferro and their respective affiliates, are also prohibited from acquiring additional equity if the acquisition could result in their beneficial ownership of more than 25% of the Company’s then-outstanding shares of common stock.
 In connection with the private placement, Mr. Ferro was elected to fill a newly-created position on the Company’s Board of Directors and was named non-executive Chairman of the Board. The Company granted Merrick Media the right to designate a replacement individual for election as a director at each annual and special meeting of stockholders at which directors are to be elected as part of the slate of nominees recommended by the Board of Directors, subject to the reasonable prior approval of the Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, in the event that Mr. Ferro is unable to continue to serve as a director. Merrick Media’s right to appoint a replacement director representative will expire either (a) on the date that Mr. Ferro or his replacement is not nominated for reelection as a director, is removed as a director, or is not reelected as a director if the Company has not recommended his or his replacement’s reelection or (b) at such time as Merrick Media, Mr. Ferro and their respective affiliates no longer beneficially own at least 75% of the shares originally acquired pursuant to the Merrick Purchase Agreement.
Additionally, in connection with the private placement, the Company entered into a registration rights agreement (the “Merrick Rights Agreement”) with Merrick Media. Pursuant to the Merrick Rights Agreement, Merrick Media will be entitled to certain registration rights under the Securities Act, with respect to the Merrick Shares. The Merrick Rights Agreement provides that the Company will use its reasonable best efforts to cause a registration statement with respect to the Merrick Shares to be declared effective no later than the earlier of (a) three years after the consummation of the private placement transaction contemplated by the Merrick Purchase Agreement and (b) 60 days after the termination of the voting covenants of the Merrick Purchase Agreement as described above. The Company will pay all of its own costs and expenses, including all fees and expenses of counsel for the Company, relating to the Merrick Rights Agreement.
Mr. Ferro is the manager of Merrick Venture Management, LLC, which is the sole manager of Merrick Media. Because Merrick Venture Management, LLC serves as the sole manager of Merrick Media, Mr. Ferro may be deemed to indirectly control all of the shares of the Company’s common stock owned by Merrick Media.
Dividends
On February 11, 2016, the Company paid a dividend of $0.175 per share on common stock outstanding, to stockholders of record on January 11, 2016. In February 2016, the Company’s Board of Directors suspended the payment of cash dividends on the Company’s outstanding common stock. Any future determination to declare and pay dividends will be made at the discretion of the Board of Directors, after taking into account the Company’s financial results, capital requirements and other factors it may deem relevant.
Name Change and Stock Exchange Listing
The Company transferred its stock exchange listing from the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) to The Nasdaq Global Select Market (“Nasdaq”) and changed its corporate name to tronc, Inc. The common stock of the Company ceased trading on the NYSE on June 17, 2016 at the end of the day and began trading the morning of June 20, 2016 on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “TRNC.”

23


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


NOTE 15: ACCUMULATED OTHER COMPREHENSIVE LOSS
The following table sets forth the components of accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of tax where applicable (in thousands):    


September 25, 2016

December 27, 2015
Accumulated other comprehensive loss, net of tax:




Pension and other postretirement costs

$
(3,745
)

$
(3,871
)
Foreign currency translation adjustments

(32
)

(35
)
Accumulated other comprehensive loss

$
(3,777
)

$
(3,906
)
The following table presents the amounts and line items in the Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss) where adjustments reclassified from accumulated other comprehensive (loss) were recorded during the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015 (in thousands):
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss) Components
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
 
Affected Line Items in the Consolidated Statements of Income (Loss)
Pension and postretirement benefit adjustments:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prior service cost recognized
 
$
(439
)
 
$
(701
)
 
$
208

 
$
(2,104
)
 
Compensation
Amortization of actuarial gains
 

 
(609
)
 

 
(1,245
)
 
Compensation
Total before taxes
 
(439
)
 
(1,310
)
 
208

 
(3,349
)
 
 
Tax effect
 
(173
)
 
(518
)
 
82

 
(1,323
)
 
Income tax expense (benefit)
Total reclassifications for the period
 
$
(266
)
 
$
(792
)
 
$
126

 
$
(2,026
)
 
 
NOTE 16: CONTINGENCIES
Legal Proceedings
The Company is subject to various legal proceedings and claims that have arisen in the ordinary course of business. The legal entities comprising our operations are defendants from time to time in actions for matters arising out of their business operations. In addition, the legal entities comprising our operations are involved from time to time as parties in various regulatory, environmental and other proceedings with governmental authorities and administrative agencies.
Stockholder Derivative Lawsuits
On June 1, 2016, Capital Structures Realty Advisors LLC, which purports to be a stockholder in the Company, filed a derivative lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery against the members of the Company’s Board of Directors as of June 1, 2016, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and Nant Capital.  The complaint has named the Company as a nominal defendant. The complaint alleges in relevant part that the Board breached its fiduciary duties by “refusing to negotiate with Gannett in good faith” and by “going forward with the stock sale” to Dr. Soon-Shiong and Nant Capital.  The complaint further alleges that Nant Capital and Dr. Soon-Shiong aided and abetted the Board’s breaches of fiduciary duty.  On June 6, 2016, a second derivative complaint was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery by Monroe County Employees Retirement System, which purports to be a stockholder in the Company.  On June 15, 2016, a third, mirror image, derivative complaint was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery on behalf of an individual named John Solak, who purports to be a stockholder in the Company.  All three cases were consolidated on June 17, 2016, under the caption In re Tribune Publishing Co. Stockholder Litigation, Consolidated C.A. No. 12401-VCS.  On June 20, 2016, a fourth, mirror image derivative complaint was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery on behalf of an individual named B.W. Tomasino, who purports to be a stockholder in the Company.  That case was consolidated with the other three derivative cases on July 7, 2016.  The plaintiffs seek equitable and injunctive relief, including, without limitation, rescission of the stock sale to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and Nant Capital, implementation of a special committee to consider Gannett and any other offer for the Company, money damages, and costs and

24


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


disbursements, and such other relief deemed just and proper. The consolidated case is pending before Vice Chancellor Slights. 
On September 2, 2016, plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint. The defendants filed motions to dismiss on October 3, 2016. The defendants deny any and all allegations of wrongdoing and intend to defend vigorously against the lawsuits.  Due to the inherent uncertainty in litigation, however, the Company can provide no assurance as to the outcome of the matter or reasonably estimate a range of possible loss at this time.  Additionally, the Company maintains liability insurance for its directors and officers, which we expect to provide coverage for this litigation; however, there can be no guarantees as to coverage or whether any such policies will be adequate to cover all costs associated with this litigation. 
NOTE 17: SEGMENT INFORMATION
The Company’s business segments are based on the organization structure used by management for making operating and investment decisions and for assessing performance. Beginning in the second quarter of fiscal 2016, the operating segments consist of troncM and troncX. troncM is comprised of the Company’s media groups excluding their digital revenues and related digital expenses, except digital subscription revenues when sold with a print subscription. troncX includes the Company’s digital revenues and related digital expenses from local websites and mobile applications, digital only subscriptions, as well as Tribune Content Agency (“TCA”) and Forsalebyowner.com (“FSBO”). Assets are not presented to or used by management at a segment level for making operating and investment decisions and therefore are not reported. The prior periods have been restated to reflect the change in reportable segments.
The Company measures segment profit using income from operations, which is defined as income from operations before net interest expense, gain on investment transactions, reorganization items and income taxes.
Operating revenues and income (loss) from operations by operating segment were as follows for the periods indicated (in thousands):
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
September 25, 2016

September 27, 2015

September 25, 2016

September 27, 2015
Operating revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
troncM
$
323,133

 
$
349,570

 
$
1,010,565

 
$
1,048,660

troncX
$
57,153

 
$
58,482

 
$
175,944

 
$
173,850

Corporate and eliminations
$
(2,050
)
 
$
(2,384
)
 
$
(5,553
)
 
$
(6,547
)
 
$
378,236

 
$
405,668

 
$
1,180,956

 
$
1,215,963

Income (loss) from operations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
troncM
$
16,267

 
$
3,194

 
$
64,448

 
$
41,450

troncX
$
4,839

 
$
10,069

 
$
16,711

 
$
28,320

Corporate and eliminations
(20,270
)
 
(20,831
)
 
(69,896
)
 
(54,825
)
Income (loss) from operations
$
836

 
$
(7,568
)
 
$
11,263

 
$
14,945

Loss on equity investments, net
(190
)
 
(535
)
 
(487
)
 
(542
)
Interest expense, net
(6,673
)
 
(6,923
)
 
(20,116
)
 
(19,121
)
Reorganization items, net
(93
)
 
80

 
(236
)
 
(773
)
Loss before income taxes
$
(6,120
)
 
$
(14,946
)
 
$
(9,576
)
 
$
(5,491
)
The above operating revenues and operating results are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for the full fiscal year.

25


TRONC, INC.
NOTES TO THE CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS (Continued)
(Unaudited)


NOTE 18: SUPPLEMENTAL CASH FLOW INFORMATION
Supplemental cash flow information for each of the periods presented is as follows (in thousands):
 
 
Nine months ended
 
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
Cash paid during the period for:
 
 
 
 
Interest
 
$
17,886

 
$
16,710

Income taxes, net of refunds
 
(213
)
 
13,829

Non-cash items in investing activities:
 
 
 
 
Additions to property plant and equipment under capital leases
 
(722
)
 

Non-cash items in financing activities:
 
 
 
 
Shares issued for acquisitions
 

 
11,039

New capital leases
 
722

 

NOTE 19: SUBSEQUENT EVENT
In April 2016, the Company received an unsolicited proposal from Gannett Co., Inc. to acquire all outstanding shares of the Company common stock for $12.25 per share in cash which was revised in May 2016 to $15 per share in cash with both proposals being subject to satisfactory due diligence by Gannett. The Company’s Board of Directors determined that the price reflected in Gannett’s revised proposal was inadequate for a control investment and was not in the best interests of its shareholders and communicated such to Gannett. Subsequently, the tronc Board, management team and their advisers engaged in substantive discussions and due diligence with Gannett regarding a potential transaction. The parties agreed to a purchase price in mid-September and subsequently worked to finalize a merger agreement. On November 1, 2016, the Company was informed that Gannett decided to terminate discussions regarding a potential business combination with tronc.

26




Item 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
(in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with the other sections of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including the Company’s Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes filed as part of this Quarterly Report, and “Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements.” Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations contains a number of forward-looking statements, all of which are based on our current expectations and could be affected by the uncertainties and other factors described throughout this Quarterly Report, as well as the factors described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the SEC on March 14, 2016, particularly under Item 1A. “Risk Factors,” and in the Company’s other filings with the SEC, including in Part II, Item 1A of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on August 5, 2016.
We believe that the assumptions underlying the Consolidated Financial Statements included in this Quarterly Report are reasonable. However, the Consolidated Financial Statements may not necessarily reflect our results of operations, financial position and cash flows for future periods.
OVERVIEW
tronc, Inc., formerly Tribune Publishing Company, was formed as a Delaware corporation on November 21, 2013. tronc, Inc., and its subsidiaries (collectively, the “Company” or “tronc”) comprise a diversified media and marketing-solutions company that delivers innovative experiences for audiences and advertisers across all platforms. The Company’s diverse portfolio of iconic news and information brands includes 11 award-winning major daily titles, more than 60 digital properties and more than 180 verticals in markets including Los Angeles and San Diego, Ca; Chicago, Il; South Florida; Orlando, Fl; Baltimore, Carroll County and Annapolis, Md.; Hartford, Ct.; Allentown, Pa.; and Newport News, Va. tronc also offers an array of customized marketing solutions, and operates a number of niche products, including Hoy and El Sentinel, making tronc the country’s largest Spanish-language publisher.
On August 4, 2014 (the “Distribution Date”), Tribune Media Company, formerly Tribune Company (“TCO”) completed the spin-off of its principal publishing operations into an independent company, Tribune Publishing Company (renamed tronc, Inc.) (the “Distribution”). In the Distribution, 25,042,263 shares of tronc common stock were distributed to the TCO stockholders and holders of TCO warrants and TCO retained 381,354 shares of tronc common stock, representing 1.5% of outstanding common stock of tronc. Subsequent to the Distribution, tronc became a separate publicly-traded company with its own board of directors and senior management team.
2016 Highlights and Recent Events
On February 3, 2016, the Company completed a $44.4 million private placement of the Company’s common stock to Merrick Media, LLC (“Merrick Media”).
In February 2016, Homefinder.com LLC (“Homefinder”) sold substantially all of its operating assets and liabilities, excluding cash, to Placester, Inc. (“Placester”) for cash and stock representing 0.75% of outstanding Placester stock.
In March 2016, Contend, LLC (“Contend”) exercised its option to repurchase its Class A units from the Company. The Company received $1.2 million for the units and recorded a gain of $0.4 million on the transaction.
On June 1, 2016, the Company completed a $70.5 million private placement of the Company’s common stock to Nant Capital, LLC (“Nant Capital”).
Beginning with the second quarter of fiscal 2016, tronc began managing its business as two distinct segments, troncM and troncX. troncM is comprised of the Company’s media groups excluding their digital revenues and related digital expenses, except digital subscription revenues when sold with a print subscription. troncX includes the Company’s digital revenues and related digital expenses from local websites and mobile applications, digital only subscriptions, as well as Tribune Content Agency (“TCA”) and Forsalebyowner.com (“FSBO”). Accordingly, the Company changed its segment reporting to two reportable segments. The prior periods have been restated to reflect the change in reportable segments. Prior to the second quarter of fiscal 2016, tronc was managed by its chief operating decision maker, as defined by ASC Topic 280, as one business and one reportable segment.

27




troncM
troncM’s media groups include the Chicago Tribune Media Group, the Los Angeles Times Media Group, the San Diego Media Group, the Sun Sentinel Media Group, the Orlando Sentinel Media Group, The Baltimore Sun Media Group, the Hartford Courant Media Group, the Morning Call Media Group and the Daily Press Media Group. In May 2015, the Company acquired The San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper (f/k/a the U-T San Diego) and nine community weeklies.
In the nine months ended September 25, 2016, 48.8% of troncM’s operating revenues were derived from advertising. These revenues were generated from the sale of advertising space in published issues of the newspapers and from the delivery of preprinted advertising supplements. Approximately 35.3% of operating revenues for the nine months ended September 25, 2016 were generated from the sale of newspapers and other publications to individual subscribers or to sales outlets that re-sell the newspapers. The remaining 15.9% of operating revenues for the nine months ended September 25, 2016 were generated from the provision of commercial printing and delivery services to other newspapers, direct mail advertising and services, and other related activities.
Newspaper print advertising is typically in the form of display, classified or preprint advertising. Advertising and marketing services revenues are comprised of three basic categories: retail, national and classified. Retail is a category of customers who tend to do business directly with the general public. National is a category of customers who tend to do business directly with other businesses. Classified is a type of advertising which is other than display or preprint.
Circulation revenue results from the sale of print editions of newspapers to individual subscribers and the sale of print editions of newspapers to sales outlets that re-sell the newspapers.
Other revenues are derived from commercial printing and delivery services provided to other newspapers, direct mail advertising and services and other related activities. The Company contracts with a number of national and local newspapers to both print and distribute their respective publications in local markets where it is a newspaper publisher. In some instances where it prints publications, it also manages and procures newsprint, ink and plates on their behalf. These arrangements allow the Company to leverage its investment in infrastructure in those markets that support its own publications. As a result, these arrangements tend to contribute incremental profitability and revenues. The Company currently distributes national newspapers (including The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal) in its local markets under multiple agreements. Additionally, in Los Angeles and Chicago the Company provides some or all of these services to other local publications.
Products and Services
Our product mix consists of three publication types: (i) daily newspapers, (ii) weekly newspapers and (iii) niche publications. The key characteristics of each of these types of publications are summarized in the table below.
 
Daily Newspapers
Weekly Newspapers
Niche Publications
Cost:
Paid
Paid and free
Paid and free
Distribution:
Distributed four to seven days per week
Distributed one to three days per week
Distributed weekly, monthly or on an annual basis
Income:
Revenue from advertisers, subscribers, rack/box sales
Paid: Revenue from advertising, subscribers, rack/box sales
Paid: Revenue from advertising, rack/box sales
 
 
Free: Advertising revenue only
Free: Advertising revenue only
As of September 25, 2016, the Company’s prominent print publications include:
Media Group
 
City
 
Masthead
 
Circulation Type
 
Paid or Free
Chicago Tribune Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chicago, IL
 
Chicago Tribune
 
Daily
 
Paid
 
 
Chicago, IL
 
Chicago Magazine
 
Monthly
 
Paid
 
 
Chicago, IL
 
Hoy
 
Daily
 
Free
 
 
Chicago, IL
 
Redeye
 
Daily
 
Free

28




Media Group
 
City
 
Masthead
 
Circulation Type
 
Paid or Free
Los Angeles Times Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Los Angeles Times
 
Daily
 
Paid
 
 
Los Angeles, CA
 
Hoy Los Angeles
 
Weekly
 
Free
San Diego Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
San Diego, CA
 
The San Diego Union-Tribune
 
Daily
 
Paid
 
 
San Diego, CA
 
Hoy San Diego
 
Weekly
 
Free
Sun Sentinel Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
Broward County, FL, Palm Beach County, FL
 
Sun Sentinel
 
Daily
 
Paid
 
 
Broward County, FL, Palm Beach County, FL
 
el Sentinel
 
Weekly
 
Free
Orlando Sentinel Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
Orlando, FL
 
Orlando Sentinel
 
Daily
 
Paid
 
 
Orlando, FL
 
el Sentinel
 
Weekly
 
Free
The Baltimore Sun Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
Baltimore, MD
 
The Baltimore Sun
 
Daily
 
Paid
 
 
Annapolis, MD
 
The Capital
 
Daily
 
Paid
 
 
Westminster, MD
 
Carroll County Times
 
Daily
 
Paid
Hartford Courant Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hartford County, CT, Middlesex County, CT, Tolland County, CT
 
The Hartford Courant
 
Daily
 
Paid
Daily Press Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
Newport News, VA (Peninsula)
 
Daily Press
 
Daily
 
Paid
The Morning Call Media Group
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lehigh Valley, PA
 
The Morning Call
 
Daily
 
Paid
troncX
troncX consists of the Company’s digital revenues and related digital expenses from local websites and mobile applications, digital only subscriptions, as well as TCA and FSBO. During the second quarter of 2016, the segregation of the digital business into troncX triggered a new evaluation of the Company’s operating and reportable segments.
TCA is a syndication and licensing business providing quality content solutions for publishers around the globe.  Working with a vast collection of the world’s best news and information sources, TCA delivers a daily news service and syndicated premium content to over 3,000 media and digital information publishers in nearly 100 countries. Tribune News Service delivers the best material from 70 leading companies, including Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg News, Miami Herald, The Dallas Morning News, Seattle Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Tribune Premium Content syndicates columnists such as Arianna Huffington, Cal Thomas, Clarence Page, Ask Amy, Mario Batali and Rick Steves. TCA manages the licensing of premium content from publications such as Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Mayo Clinic, Variety and many more. TCA Originals is a new service that identifies remarkable journalism for production in Hollywood. Tribune Content Agency traces its roots to 1918.
ForSaleByOwner.com is a national consumer-to-consumer focused real estate website. The majority of the revenue generated by ForSaleByOwner.com is e-commerce, but approximately one-third is generated through a call center and strategic partnerships with service providers in the real estate industry. The business generates the majority of its revenue by selling listing packages directly to home sellers who receive online advertising, home pricing tools, marketing advice, yard signs and technical support. ForSaleByOwner.com also sells packages that allow home sellers to syndicate to other national websites such as Zillow and Realtor.com as well as their local multiple listing service (“MLS”).

29




In the nine months ended September 25, 2016, 83.2% of troncX’s operating revenues were derived from advertising. These revenues were generated from the sale of advertising space on interactive websites and digital marketing services. The remaining 16.8% of operating revenues for the nine months ended September 25, 2016 were generated from the sale of digital content and other related activities.
Digital advertising can be in the form of display, banner ads, coupon ads, video, search advertising and linear ads placed on tronc and affiliated websites. Advertising services include development of mobile websites, search engine marketing and optimization, social media account management and content marketing for its customers’ web presence for small to medium size businesses.
Products and Services
As of September 25, 2016, the Company’s prominent websites include:
Websites
www.tronc.com
www.SunSentinel.com
www.chicagotribune.com
www.ElSentinel.com
www.chicagomag.com
www.OrlandoSentinel.com
www.vivelohoy.com
www.baltimoresun.com
www.redeyechicago.com
www.capitalgazette.com
www.latimes.com
www.carrollcountytimes.com
www.la.com
www.courant.com
www.hoylosangeles.com
www.dailypress.com
www.sandiegouniontribune.com
www.themorningcall.com
The Company’s results of operations, when examined on a quarterly basis, reflect the seasonality of tronc’s revenues. Second and fourth quarter advertising revenues are typically higher than first and third quarter revenues. Results for the second quarter reflect spring advertising revenues, while the fourth quarter includes advertising revenues related to the holiday season.
Subsequent Event
In April 2016, the Company received an unsolicited proposal from Gannett Co., Inc. to acquire all outstanding shares of the Company common stock for $12.25 per share in cash which was revised in May 2016 to $15 per share in cash with both proposals being subject to satisfactory due diligence by Gannett. The Company’s Board of Directors determined that the price reflected in Gannett’s revised proposal was inadequate for a control investment and was not in the best interests of its shareholders and communicated such to Gannett. Subsequently, the tronc Board, management team and their advisers engaged in substantive discussions and due diligence with Gannett regarding a potential transaction. The parties agreed to a purchase price in mid-September and subsequently worked to finalize a merger agreement. On November 1, 2016, the Company was informed that Gannett decided to terminate discussions regarding a potential business combination with tronc.
Chapter 11 Reorganization
On December 8, 2008 (the Petition Date”), TCO and 110 of its direct and indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries (each a “Debtor” and, collectively, the “Debtors”), filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 (“Chapter 11”) of title 11 of the United States Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the “Bankruptcy Court”). A joint plan of reorganization for the Debtors (the “Plan”) became effective and the Debtors emerged from Chapter 11 on December 31, 2012 (the “Effective Date”). Certain of the legal entities included in the Consolidated Financial Statements of tronc were Debtors or, as a result of the restructuring transactions undertaken pursuant to the Plan, are successor legal entities to legal entities that were Debtors (collectively, the “tronc Debtors”). Prior to December 27, 2015, the Chapter 11 estates of 96 of the Debtors have been closed by a final decree issued by the Bankruptcy Court. On May 11, 2016, the Chapter 11 estates of 8 of the Debtors were closed by a final decree issued by the Bankruptcy Court. On August 12, 2016, the Chapter 11 estates of 2 more of the Debtors, including the last one of the tronc Debtors’ cases, were closed by a final decree issued by the

30




Bankruptcy Court. The remaining Chapter 11 cases relate to Debtors and successor legal entities that are subsidiaries of TCO and the cases continue to be administered under the caption “In re: Tribune Media Company, et al.,” Case No 08-13141.
Reorganization Items, Net—Reorganization items, net, generally includes provisions and adjustments to reflect the carrying value of certain prepetition liabilities at their estimated allowable claim amounts and, pursuant to ASC Topic 852, “Reorganizations,” is reported separately in tronc’s Consolidated Statements of Income. Reorganization items, net, may also include professional advisory fees and other costs directly associated with the Debtors’ Chapter 11 cases.
Specifically identifiable reorganization provisions, adjustments and other costs directly related to tronc have been included in the Company’s Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income for three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015 and consisted of the following:
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
 
September 25, 2016
 
September 27, 2015
Reorganization costs, net:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contract rejections and claim settlements
 
$
(75
)
 
$

 
$
(75
)
 
$
(15
)
Other, net
 
$
(18
)
 
$
80

 
(161
)
 
(758
)
Total reorganization costs, net
 
$
(93
)
 
$
80

 
$
(236
)
 
$
(773
)
The Company expects to incur certain expenses pertaining to the resolution of an unresolved claim in the Chapter 11 proceedings throughout 2016 and potentially in future periods.

Results of Operations
Consolidated
Operating results for the three and nine months ended September 25, 2016 and September 27, 2015 are shown in the table below.
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Nine Months Ended
 
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
 
% Change
 
September 25,
2016
 
September 27,
2015
 
% Change
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating revenues
 
378,236

 
405,668

 
(6.8
%)
 
1,180,956

 
1,215,963

 
(2.9
%)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Compensation
 
140,760

 
157,783

 
(10.8
%)
 
453,353


463,398

 
(2.2
%)
Newsprint and ink
 
25,101

 
29,096

 
(13.7
%)
 
77,174


91,835

 
(16.0
%)
Outside services
 
118,060

 
127,513

 
(7.4
%)
 
368,733


373,308

 
(1.2
%)
Other
 
79,104

 
84,541

 
(6.4
%)
 
227,634


232,316

 
(2.0
%)
Depreciation and amortization
 
14,375

 
14,303

 
0.5
%
 
42,799

 
40,161

 
6.6
%
Operating expenses
 
377,400

 
413,236

 
(8.7
%)
 
1,169,693

 
1,201,018

 
(2.6
%)
Income (loss) from operations
 
836

 
(7,568
)
 
*
 
11,263

 
14,945

 
(24.6
%)
Loss on equity investments, net
 
(190
)
 
(535
)
 
(64.5
%)
 
(487
)
 
(542
)
 
(10.1
%)