Tribune server crash interrupts Sun's, other papers' Web sites


The Baltimore Sun's Web site and 50 other newspaper, television and entertainment Web sites operated by Tribune Co. crashed yesterday as the result of an undetermined server error.

Chicago-based Tribune, which owns The Sun, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and 11 other daily newspapers, said it was working with its Internet providers to determine the cause of the outage, which occurred at 3:17 p.m. and lasted into the evening.

"I expect this to be a short-term problem," said Christine Hennessey, a spokeswoman for Tribune Interactive, the media company's multi-media arm. She said such occurrences are rare, though she couldn't provide specifics about past incidents.

Tribune consolidated all of its Web sites under one publishing platform in late 2001 as part of an effort to create synergies throughout the franchise. The platform, known internally as Oxygen, was designed to shorten downloading times and allow member sites to share content while giving national advertisers broader geographical reach.

In addition to the newspaper sites, the outage affected news sites for 26 television stations, as well as entertainment and classified ad sites in several cities.

Backup systems kicked in soon after the outage, allowing content providers to post a minimal amount of news and an error message alerting users to the technical difficulties, Hennessey said.

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