CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Tribune will eliminate about 120 jobs, or about 4 percent of its work force, by year’s end as part of parent Tribune Co.’s plan to cut $200 million in costs, the newspaper said Friday.

The job cuts come on top of 80 to 90 positions eliminated at the Tribune, the nation’s eighth-largest daily by circulation, at the end of 2005.

Asked how many newsroom jobs will be affected, spokeswoman Christine Hennessey said a final decision on specific positions is expected to be made by Labor Day. Forty of the jobs to be cut are open and will not be filled. Hennessey declined to say how many are in the newsroom.

Tribune ordered the additional $200 million in cost cuts over the next two years as part of a strategy unveiled May 30 to boost its lagging stock price. Company executives said on the quarterly earnings conference call Thursday that most of the cutbacks would come from the publishing division, which consists of its 11 daily newspapers.

A debt-funded $2.5 billion stock buyback and divestiture of at least $500 million in noncore assets, including television stations, also are part of the strategy.

“Our reason to try to speed up our action on the cost side has to do with our Chicago Tribune results in the first half of the year, which were well weaker than we had planned,” Publisher and Chief Executive David Hiller said.

Companywide, Tribune’s newspapers saw circulation revenue decline by 5.3 percent in the second quarter. The company’s $85.7 million profit was its second-lowest for any quarter in the past five years.

Tribune shares fell 52 cents to $30.98 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.



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