Gannett Newspaper Revenues Drop, But Broadcast Skyrockets

Newspaper revenues continued their long-term decline in the second quarter, judging by results from Gannett Co., the country’s largest newspaper publisher. However, the decline in Gannett’s newspaper ad revenues was more than offset by growth at its TV broadcasting division.
 
Gannett’s publishing division, which includes community publishing and USA Today, saw total revenues fall 4.1% from $904.2 million in the second quarter of 2013 to $867.4 million in the second quarter of 2014. Excluding the sale of Apartments.com, its online listings business, publishing segment revenues were down 3.7%. Gannett attributed the decline to decreases in national advertising, partially offset by growth in digital advertising and marketing services.
 
Total advertising revenues at Gannett’s newspaper division fell 5.7% from $562.5 million to $530.2 million over this period, largely due to a 16.3% drop in national advertising. However, retail and classified revenues posted modest growth, including a 1.3% increase in employment advertising. Circulation revenues slipped 0.6% from $279.7 million to $277.9 million.
 
On the broadcasting side, total revenues jumped 88% to $398.3 million, reflecting the acquisition of Belo TV stations in December 2013. Counting the Belo stations in the prior-year comparison, Gannett’s broadcasting revenues were still up 13.4%, thanks to higher retrans revenue and increases in political advertising across all the company’s stations.
 
Gannett acquired 20 Belo TV broadcast properties for $1.5 billion plus the assumption of $715 million in debt, nearly doubling the number of stations in its broadcast portfolio.
 
The company’s digital segment revenues were up 4.2% to $194.4 million, thanks to higher revenues at CareerBuilder, resulting from strong sales of its software-as-a-service products. Total digital revenues, including revenues counted in publishing or broadcasting results, increased 6% to $396.9 million.
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