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Tribune Centralizing Online Entertainment Coverage

inside papers. metueOperational efficiency is important for any well run business.  It’s essential for those trying to work from struggle to success. The Tribune Co, still under the protective umbrella of bankruptcy, will try and get leaner by sharing resources across its properties.  The first focus: entertainment.

A joint online entertainment news bureau, apparently to be called “the syndicate” is being created from assets at the LA Times and Zap2it.

According to the company, this new bureau will focus on expanded coverage of movies and TV.  “It will leverage writers and reporters from across [Tribune] properties to bring readers constantly updated blogs and other multimedia news on more than 60 top TV shows,” the press release states.

With the newspaper industry struggling (more here), the goal, simply stated, is to try and trim costs and better utilize assets.

Richard Rushfield and Joseph Kapsch, both veterans of Tribune properties, will lead the central newsroom.  Rushfield will take the role of director of national entertainment programming.  In the role, he’ll coordinate coverage among Tribune sites.  He’ll continue to also work in his current role as entertainment editor for the LA Times website,

Kapsch wil be editorial director for  He will oversee the site’s expansion into a national entertainment portal.

A redesigned version of the site is expected sometime in the first half of 2009.   The new news bureau will serve a combined audience, the Tribune Co. speculates, of about 9 million unique visitors a month.

Behind the scenes coverage of American Idol will be one of the first projects.

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