Major Newspapers Endure Rev Falls

The newspaper industry had another bad quarter in July-September of this year, judging by results announced by two major newspaper publishers.

The New York Times Co. and McClatchy Co. both saw overall revenues fall in the third quarter of 2012, due to continuing declines in advertising revenues, suggesting the rest of the industry suffered a similar fate.
 
While circulation revenues continue to grow, thanks to digital subscriptions, downward pressure on advertising revenues resulted in an overall decline for the New York Times Co. in the third quarter. Total advertising revenues fell 8.9% from $200.5 million in the third quarter of 2011 to $182.6 million in the third quarter of 2012, as print advertising fell 10.9% and digital advertising slipped 2.2%.

Circulation revenues rose 7.4% from $218.6 million to $234.9 million. The total number of digital subscriptions increased to 592,000, up 11% compared to the end of the second quarter of this year.
 
Revenue declines occurred in all the major advertising segments. National advertising fell 9.5% to $118.1 million, retail was also down 9.5% to $30.3 million, and classifieds fell 7.9% to $27.6 million. Within the classifieds category, real estate was down 19.5% to $8.7 million, while automotive edged up 2.4% to $5.8 million and recruitment increased 4.1% to $6.3 million.
 
McClatchy Co. -- which publishes The Miami Herald among other newspapers -- also reported weak results in the third quarter, with total revenues falling 4.2% to $287.5 million. Advertising revenues fell 5.4% from $224.2 million to $212 million, while circulation revenues slipped 2% from $64.1 million to $62.8 million.

However, McClatchy president and CEO Pat Talamantes noted that the company recently introduced paid digital subscriptions at five newspaper Web sites, which she predicted could contribute up to $20 million in additional circulation revenues in 2013.
 
Talamantes also touted strong growth at McClatchy’s daily deal platform, Dealsaver.com, where revenues were up 84% in the quarter, as well as promising early results from ImpressLocal, a suite of products intended to help local advertisers manage digital ad campaigns, which launched in July.

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