Good News, Bad News in WashPo Q2

Picture 2Here’s the earnings release from Friday. Revenues were down but the quarter saw a profit for the company overall; newspapers were down:

The Washington Post Company today reported net income of $11.4 million ($1.30 earnings per share) for its second quarter ended June 28, 2009, compared to a net loss of $2.7 million ($0.31 loss per share) for the second quarter of last year . . .

Revenue for the first half of 2009 was $2,182.6 million, up 1% from $2,169.4 million in the first half of 2008, due to increased revenues at the Company’s education and cable television divisions, offset by revenue declines at the Company’s newspaper publishing, magazine publishing and television broadcasting divisions. The Company reported an operating loss of $13.4 million for the first half of 2009, compared to operating income of $71.7 million for the first half of 2008 . . .

Newspaper publishing division revenue totaled $168.8 million for the second quarter of 2009, a decrease of 14% from $197.3 million in the second quarter of 2008; division revenue decreased 18% to $329.7 million for the first six months of 2009, from $403.4 million for the first six months of 2008. Print advertising revenue at The Post in the second quarter of 2009 declined 20% to $80.0 million, from $99.8 million in the second quarter of 2008, and decreased 27% to $154.3 million for the first six months of 2009, from $211.4 million in the same period of 2008. The print revenue decline in the second quarter of 2009 is due to large decreases in classified, zones and general advertising; the decline in the first half of 2009 includes similar declines. Revenue generated by the Company’s newspaper online publishing activities, primarily washingtonpost.com, declined 9% to $23.5 million for the second quarter of 2009, versus $25.9 million for the second quarter of 2008; newspaper online revenues declined 9% to $45.6 million in the first six months of 2009, versus $49.8 million for the first six months of 2008. Display online advertising revenue grew 2% for the second quarter and first six months of 2009. Online classified advertising revenue on washingtonpost.com declined 29% and 26% for the second quarter and first six months of 2009, respectively.

For the first six months of 2009, Post daily and Sunday circulation declined 1.5% and 2.6%, respectively, compared to the same periods of the prior year. For the six months ended June 28, 2009, average daily circulation at The Post totaled 622,700 and average Sunday circulation totaled 858,100.

Newsweek also saw significant revenue declines:

Revenue for the magazine publishing division totaled $45.5 million in the second quarter of 2009, a 27% decrease from $62.7 million in the second quarter of 2008; division revenue totaled $91.6 million for the first six months of 2009, a 21% decrease from $116.1 million in the first six months of 2008. The decline is due to a 40% and 32% reduction in advertising revenue at Newsweek for the second quarter and first six months of 2009, respectively, resulting from fewer ad pages at both the domestic and international editions. In February 2009, Newsweek announced a circulation rate base reduction at its domestic edition, from 2.6 million to 1.5 million, by January 2010.


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