Tronc, one of the most lambasted corporate name changes of the digital era, is going to return to its original name, Tribune Publishing. Ex-chairman Michael Ferro pushed for “Tronc” in June 2016. It supposedly stood for Tribune Online Content, but was widely ridiculed at the time of the announcement. Even Soon Shiong, the second-largest shareholder in Tronc after Ferro, had called the name “silly” in a tweet and urged a change back to Tribune Publishing.
The Tronc name has been seen as an out-of-touch way to modernize the look and feel of a company partly responsible for the waning relevance and resource depletion of the country’s major daily newspapers. The name change took place back in 2016 as part of a broad rebranding of the Chicago-based business, which at the time was grappling with its outdated business model, lackluster public image, and its inability to adapt to a media landscape increasingly less dependent on traditional newspaper publishing. The change was also a way for Tronc to differentiate itself from the Tribune Media company from which it was spun off.