A.H. Belo, Journal Newspapers Revs Slip

Newspaper print advertising revenues continued to drop in the first quarter of 2014, although the rate of decline slowed somewhat compared to previous quarters, judging by results from individual publishers, including A.H. Belo and Journal Communications.
 
A.H. Belo, which publishes The Dallas Morning News and Providence Journal, among other newspapers, announced that total revenues slipped 1% from $86.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $85.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. Revenues from advertising and marketing services, including both print and digital operations, fell 5%, with display ads down 16%, preprint down 5%, and classified ad revenues down 2%.

There were some bright spots on the balance sheet, as digital ad revenue, considered on its own, increased 18%, while circulation revenue increased 1% to $29.3 million, due mostly to increased home delivery rates at the Providence Journal.
 
Also this week, Journal Communications, which publishes the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, reported that its newspaper publishing revenues slipped 2.7% to $35.6 million in the first quarter, as classified ads fell 4.6%, more than offsetting a 1.3% increase in retail ads. Digital advertising edged up 1.8% to $3 million, while circulation revenues fell 5.7% to $11.7 million.

However, the Journal’s weak newspaper publishing results were balanced out by increases in its broadcasting business, as TV revenues increased 12.6% to $46 million, due mostly to Olympic advertising, contributing to companywide revenue growth of 4% to $96.6 million.
 
These figures are broadly in line with results from other newspaper publishers. Previously, Gannett reported that its publishing revenues fell 3.3% from $871 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $842 million in the first quarter of 2014, largely as a result of a 4.8% drop in advertising revenues, from $527 million to $501 million. Gannett’s circulation revenues fell 1.4% to $282 million, but digital revenues increased 7.6%.
 
Also, McClatchy Co.’s total revenues fell 2.7% from $295 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $287 million in the first quarter of 2014 -- mostly as a result of a 6.7% decline in ad revenues, from $197 million to $184 million. The decline in ad revenues was partially offset by a gain in circulation revenues, which increased 5.8% from $85.8 million to $90.8 million over the same period, and digital-only revenues, which increased 11.6%. McClatchy’s digital-only ad revenue was up 11%.

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