McClatchy Newspapers Fail To Rebound

The promised rebound in newspaper publishing has not quite materialized, judging by the recent round of quarterly results from major publishers. The latest addition to the lackluster list is McClatchy Co., which reported another revenue decline in the second quarter -- albeit less severe than in previous quarters, again reflecting the broader trend.

Total revenues at McClatchy fell 6.4% from $365.3 million in the second quarter of 2009 to $342 million in the second quarter of 2010, due mostly to continued declines in advertising revenues, which slumped 8.2% from $283.7 million to $260.5 million over the same period.

Retail fell 10.7% to $133.5 million, national slipped 2% to $23.6 million, and classifieds slid 8.8% to $73.1 million. Circulation revenues also fell 2.4% to $67.7 million.

McClatchy Chairman and CEO Gary Pruitt found the positive side of the continuing declines, stating: "Advertising revenue trends continued to improve as we anticipated. Advertising revenues declined year-over-year by 8.2% compared to declines of 11.2% in the first quarter of 2010 and 20.5% in the fourth quarter of 2009.

"We were also encouraged by the improving trends within the quarter: advertising revenues were down 10.2% in April, down 7.3% in May and down 6.4% in June." He added that "employment advertising, more than half of which is now online, was up 1.5% in May and 0.8% in June."

The McClatchy results follow a string of fairly weak earnings reports from other big newspaper publishers.

Earlier this week, A.H. Belo, which publishes The Dallas Morning News, said total revenues sank 4.7% to $121.6 million in the second quarter. At the New York Times Co., total ad revenues decreased 0.2% to $314.9 million. Gannett Co. reported that total revenues at its publishing division fell 6% to $1 billion in the second quarter of 2010, attributing this loss to a 5.7% drop in advertising revenues, to $692.2 million.

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