June 20, 2016 Last Updated 11:52 am

Tribune Publishing becomes ‘tronc’ today, launches new corporate website

The publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune becomes ‘tronc’ today, and moves its stock from the NYSE to the NASDAQ, trading under the symbol TRNC

Tribune Publishing became ‘tronc’ today, a name that still has most media observers giggling. I mean, really? tronc?

tronc-screenActually, there have been similarly bad names that went on to become household brands. Think Google or Yahoo, for instance. But the renaming of Tribune Publishing is not the only thing going on at the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. The company that was spun off of The Tribune Company with a boatload of debt, has also recently beaten off an attempt by Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, to acquire it at a premium price, something that has some major shareholders upset.

Now the company led by investor Michael Ferro, which dates from 1847, has also moved its stock from the NYSE to the NASDAQ, trading under the symbol TRNC (rather than TPUB).

As part of the renaming, the company launched a new corporate website that looks like an attempt to create a new digital brand. The site aggregates content from the publisher’s newspaper websites, giving readers the first couple paragraphs of the story then pushing the reader to the site of the original content.

“We need to bring our stories to life more quickly and dynamically, leaving more time for our journalists to conceive and pursue ideas,” said Anne Vasquez, tronc’s Chief Digital Officer in a statement released today. “When you make stories more engaging, the work of our award-winning journalists will reach a wider audience.”

While many media observers are rather obsessed with the publisher’s odd name choice, others still wonder exactly what Ferro has in mind for the newspaper chain. One hint may be found on the new website, as it appears that tronc will be working to aggregate content and personalize it for “every person on Earth.” Good luck with that one.

“In a media landscape ravaged by disruption, journalism retains its depth, credibility and trust, but has been slow to mobilize the full thrust of cutting edge digital management tools. Digitally native enterprises, on the other hand, can harness such tools but can’t offer the substance of traditional journalism. So far, no one has cracked the code on how to merge the two worlds,” the company says in its new About US page.

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