We have seen the um, future, and it is tronc. Credit: tronc, Inc.

Now we know. The tronc in tronc, Inc., which Tribune Publishing became Monday, stands for Tribune Online Content. “From pixels to Pulitzers” is the motto being stitched into CEO Michael Ferro’s digital samplers. 

Here’s a short promo, created to build buzz about a sound you’d hate to hear after dark in a forest. “It means the next media company is here,” the promo boasts. “Both intellectually distinguished and radically distinct.” 

And to explain to employees what the hell is going on, here’s a much longer video: “This is the future of journalism,” says Malcolm CasSelle, tronc’s president of new ventures. “This is the future of content. It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Because it’s gibberish, employees will be tempted to tune out immediately. It doesn’t get much better than what? Than when journalism is content? But Jumble is content. Journalism is journalism.

Hang in there, tronc employees. Your job might depend on it. “It’s about meeting in the middle,” you’re told by Anne Vasquez, tronc’s chief digital officer. “Having a tech startup culture meet a legacy corporate culture and then evolving and changing—and that’s really the fun part.” 

She goes on, “One of the key ways we’re going to harness the power of our journalism is to have an optimization group. This tronc team will work with all the local markets to harness the power of our local journalism and feed it into a funnel and then optimize it so we reach the biggest global audience possible.”

First it’s funneled and then it’s strewn hither and yon. I’m thinking of a threshing machine.  Ferro surely has something much fancier in mind.