As Tribune Publishing struggles to find a buyer, a report by NPR offered new details about the company’s financial woes and management missteps under former chairman Michael Ferro. According to NPR, Tribune—the beleaguered publisher of the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun—secretly paid over $2.5 million to the former Los Angeles Times editor-in-chief Devin Maharaj to avert a wrongful termination suit. A primary motivation for the multi-million dollar payout was to prevent the release of recordings Mr. Maharaj had secretly made, including one where Mr. Ferro uttered an anti-Semitic remark about the billionaire, Eli Broad, NPR said.
Tribune is one of many legacy publishing companies that have undergone restructuring and cost-cutting in recent years as advertising revenue has dwindled. The company is currently on the auction block, reviewing bids from a group of buyers that includes newspaper publishers, McClatchy and AIM Media. But it has also weathered complaints of mismanagement under Mr. Ferro, who led an aborted rebrand of the company to Tronc. He also sold off Tribune’s prime asset, the Times, and was recently removed from his position over sexual harassment claims.