Anyone waiting for recovery in the newspaper business shouldn't hold their breath, as this week brought another round of less-than-stellar quarterly results from major newspaper publishers.
On Thursday, the New York Times Co. announced that total revenues slipped 2.9% from $681.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to $661.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. Digital revenues rose 11% from $90.6 million to $100.6 million -- but as in previous quarters, this wasn't enough to offset continuing losses on the print side, where total advertising revenues fell 7.2%.
As a result, operating profit on a GAAP basis tumbled 18% from $136 million to $111.6 million in the fourth quarter.
For the full year, NYTCO's total revenues were down 1.9% from $2.44 billion in 2009 to $2.39 billion in 2010, again reflecting the drop in print ad revenues. Total advertising revenues decreased 2.7% from $1.33 billion to $1.3 billion for the full year. Digital ad revenues, however, increased 14.8% from $337.4 million to $387.3 million. For the full year, operating profit on a GAAP basis increased 216% from $74.1 million in 2009 to $234.1 million in 2010.
Earlier this week, Gannett Co. reported that total revenues at its newspaper publishing division declined 4.7% to $1.1 billion, due in part to a 5.9% drop in advertising revenues to $722.3 million. But it was offset by increases at the broadcasting division, keeping the company's total revenues basically flat at $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter. Full-year revenues declined 1.3% from $5.5 billion to $5.4 billion.