Thursday, July 28, 2011

Morning Brief: Tribune Company lays off more at the LA Times; Reed Elsevier reports a slight uptick in earnings

Last night came word that the Tribune Company was instituting another round of layoffs at the Los Angeles Times, a paper once known for having an massive newsroom.
Nancy Sullivan, Vice President, Communications, said in a statement that the layoffs were caused by the economy. "As we continue to evolve our business and react to the difficult economic environment, we are downsizing in some areas and adding resources in others," the AP reported Sullivan stating in the announcement.

Reed Elsevier, which divested most of its B2B titles in the U.S. at the end of 2009, reported somewhat improved earnings today. The media company said revenue grew one percent, with operating profit up two percent.

"The first half has seen the growth trajectory improve with our large subscription and data revenues strengthening and most of our cyclical businesses recovering," said Chief Executive Erik Engstrom in a statement.

The company did best in information, as well as RE's scientific and medical journals business. Overall sales, however, were weak, especially at the company's B2B magazine, exhibitions unit and Lexis Nexis.

"Sales fell short of our expectations, driven by weaker-than-expected sales at LexisNexis Legal & Professional and Reed Business Information," Reuters reported Michel Veul, an analyst at SNS Securities in Amsterdam, as stating.

The House today is scheduled to vote on a debt ceiling bill that most think has no chance in the Senate. The Senate, meanwhile, is waiting around for the House, while sitting on its own version of a debt ceiling bill that has no chance in the House.

Both bills are nearly identical, and neither bill adds revenue or acts to create jobs.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are beginning to act like Democrats, criticizing each other – one side stating that new House representatives should go along with the party leadership, while the other stating that they are standing up for party principals.

All the while Americans yawn. That includes the markets: today the market opened up flat.