The end of 2012 didn’t bring any relief for the embattled newspaper industry on the advertising front, judging by early earnings announcements. This week A.H. Belo, the publisher of the
Dallas Morning News, revealed that total revenues decreased 6% from around $125 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $117 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.
The decrease was due to declining ad revenues, which fell 10%, including a 19% drop in display revenue, to $23.4 million, a 3% drop in preprint revenue and a 13% drop in classifieds revenue, to $13 million.
A modest increase in digital revenue, up 4% to $9 million, wasn’t enough to offset losses on the print side. Circulation revenue in the fourth quarter was $34 million, down 4%
from around $35 million in the same period in 2011.
For the full year, A.H. Belo’s total revenues dropped 5% from around $463 million in 2011 to $440 million in 2012. Full-year display revenue was down 15% to $84.6 million, while preprint dipped 3% to $84.8 million, and classifieds fell 11% to $54.1 million. Digital revenue was down 1% to $34.7 million. For the full year, circulation revenue was $136.5 million, down 2% from around $139.3 million in 2011.
Gannett Co. fared significantly better in 2012, thanks, in large part, to the introduction of online paywalls at its community newspapers. Gannett’s total circulation revenues jumped 16.8% from $268 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $313 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, pushing publishing division revenues up 3.7% from $1.01 billion to $1.04 billion over the same period.
However, Gannett advertising revenues slipped 2% from $671 million to $658 million.
Likewise, The New York Times Co. relied on circulation revenues from online paywalls to offset continuing declines on the advertising side. NYTCO’s total revenues increased 5.2% from $547 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 to almost $576 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, thanks to soaring circ revenues, which jumped 16% in the fourth quarter, from $222 million to $258 million. Advertising revenues fell 3.1% from $289 million to $280 million.