Tribune Publishing, which will own the L.A. Times and seven other newspapers, will pay a dividend of up to $275 million to parent Tribune Co. when it is spun off this year.

By Walter Hamilton and Jim Puzzanghera
April 11, 2014, 10:42 p.m.

Tribune Co.’s newspaper unit will pay a dividend of up to $275 million to its parent when it is spun off later this year, according to a government filing.

The new Tribune Publishing Co. will own the Los Angeles Times and seven other newspapers. Shares of the company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TPUB.

Details about the dividend were made public in a lengthy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission submitted late Friday.

The dividend has sparked opposition from critics who say it would weigh on the company at a time of diminishing advertising revenue and intensifying digital competition.

In a letter sent Friday to Tribune Chief Executive Peter Liguori, Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) said six media experts he consulted have serious concerns about the fate of The Times under the current spinoff plan.

The dividend would “place the long-term viability of the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune papers at risk,” Waxman wrote.

“When the newspapers become a separate company, they need the financial and other resources necessary to compete effectively in the Internet age,” he wrote.

Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein, who will become chairman of the new Tribune Publishing unit, said he was “extremely confident that the plan put forth by Tribune Co. is sound, reasonable and will help protect and build a strong future for the Los Angeles Times and Tribune’s other newspapers for years to come.”

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