Tronc to change name back to Tribune Publishing after two years of ridicule

Dominic Rushe in New York
Copies of the New York Daily News on 5 September 2017 after the tabloid was acquired by then Tronc. Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/AP

Tronc is dead, long live Tribune! The media company that owns the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News is considering ditching its much ridiculed name and returning to the original just two years after its rebranding.

Tribune Publishing rebranded itself tronc Inc (the lowercase t is deliberate) in June 2016 in a buzz-word laden press release that was greeted with much lampooning online. A company source confirmed that tronc had been considering a name change “for a few weeks” but that the final decision had not yet been taken.

The newly branded company’s name went viral after it announced the home of the Baltimore Sun, San Diego Union Tribune, Los Angles Times and other papers that have garnered 105 Pulitzer prizes would now be called tronc.

Tronc (it’s hard to avoid the incorrect capital) would be “a content curation and monetization company focused on creating and distributing premium, verified content across all channels”, the company wrote in a much lampooned press release.

Tronc, short for Tribune Online Content, would also unleash “troncX”, a new division powered by artificial intelligence that would offer an “online curation and monetization engine”.

Reaction to the troubled media company’s new branding was merciless. Tronc “is the sound of a millennial falling down the stairs”, wrote The Verge.

Tronc “sounds like the noise an ejaculating elephant makes or, more appropriately, the sound of a stack of print newspapers being thrown into a dumpster”, comedian John Oliver said.

Reactions on Twitter were no less acerbic.

With the sale of the Los Angeles Times to billionaire surgeon and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong, the company has decided it may be time to change back.