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Tribune Publishing gets $44.4M from Chicago investor

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The owner of the Chicago Tribune is receiving a $44-million cash infusion from a Chicago investor with a stake in the rival Sun-Times.

The money comes from Merrick Media, which is controlled by Michael W. Ferro Jr. He's been added to the Tribune's board as a non-executive chairman. 

Merrick will receive more than 5.2-million in Tribune shares in exchange for the money. That will give Merrick a nearly 17% stake, making it one of Tribune Publishing's largest shareholders.

The company also suspended its quarterly dividend to free up more money in the aftermath of a difficult year. Revenue has slumped as readers and advertisers continue to migrate online and the company has trimmed staff to cut costs.

Chicago-based Tribune Publishing owns 11 daily newspapers.