1/24/97 -- 4:09 PM

Earns-Media,0236


CHICAGO (AP) - Tribune Co. reported Friday that profits rose 13 percent in the fourth quarter, helped by lower newsprint costs and improved results from its broadcast operations.

Earnings totaled $81.8 million, or 63 cents a share, compared with $72.2 million, or 53 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier.

The 1996 quarter included a pretax gain of $10 million from the sale of Tribune's stake in Qwest Broadcasting, a TV station owner. The year-earlier quarter included a $7 million gain from the sale of Compton's NewMedia. Revenue rose to $608.3 million from $593.8 million.

Tribune's publishing operations, which include the Chicago Tribune, reported operating profit rose 17 percent in the quarter, mostly due to lower newsprint prices.

Tribune's broadcast and entertainment unit saw profits up 24 percent, excluding the Qwest gain, with its television operations showing a 13 percent earnings improvement. The company's education segment reported a $1.6 million profit vs. a year-earlier loss of $2.1 million.

For the full year, earnings rose to $372.1 million, or $2.88 a share, from $278.2 million, or $2.00 a share, in 1995. Revenue climbed to $2.41 billion from $2.24 billion.

Tribune shares fell 75 cents to $36.37 1/2 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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