Tronc Is Said to Consider Changing Widely Mocked Corporate Name

(Bloomberg) -- Newspaper publisher Tronc Inc., whose name was widely ridiculed after its debut two years ago, is considering abandoning the moniker, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Executives have discussed the idea of a name change, but no decision has been made, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

In June 2016, while fighting a hostile takeover bid from Gannett Co., Tribune Publishing Co. announced it was renaming itself Tronc, which stands for Tribune Online Content, to reflect its new digital ambitions. The name sparked ridicule online, with the entertainment site Deadline asking, “Is ‘Tronc’ The Worst Corporate Brand Name Ever?”

In a story published Saturday, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Tronc’s second-largest shareholder, told the Los Angeles Times that he hoped to convince the board to replace the Tronc moniker.

“I think we need to go back to Tribune,” he told the paper, which he has agreed to buy from Tronc in a $500 million deal. “I always thought Tronc was a silly name.”

A separate deal also could bear relevance on the name change. Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. is seeking regulatory approval to buy Tribune Media Co., a move that would eliminate a different company named Tribune. That could allow Tronc to go back to its old name and avoid being confused with the broadcast station owner.

Tribune Media spun off its publishing business in 2014.

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