Tronc Is Changing Its Ridiculed Name Back to Tribune Publishing

(Bloomberg) -- Newspaper publisher Tronc Inc. is changing its name back to Tribune Publishing Co., killing off one of the most-ridiculed monikers in corporate history.

The change takes effect Oct. 9 and the stock will begin trading the next day under the new symbol TPCO, the Chicago-based company said Thursday.

Tronc didn’t say why it’s switching back. But the name has been the subject of numerous jokes ever since Tribune Publishing said in 2016 that it would be rechristened as Tronc, which stands for Tribune Online Content.

The entertainment site Deadline asked, “Is ‘Tronc’ the Worst Corporate Brand Name Ever?” Comedian John Oliver said on HBO that the name sounded like a stack of newspapers being thrown in the dumpster.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, Tronc’s second-largest shareholder, told the Los Angeles Times in June that he hoped to persuade the board to restore the original name.

“I think we need to go back to Tribune,” he told the newspaper, which he bought from Tronc. “I always thought Tronc was a silly name.”

The company has been beset by controversy since Michael Ferro became its largest shareholder and took over as chairman in early 2016. Ferro stepped down in March just as Fortune magazine was set to detail sexual-harassment accusations against him. In August, the private-equity firm Donerail Group was reportedly preparing a bid for Tronc, which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Hartford Courant and several other daily newspapers.

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