Gannett Registers 10% Digital Gains

Despite C-suite changes and an uncertain ad market, Gannett Co. on Monday posted a 10% digital revenue gain for the third quarter of the year. 

Digital segment operating revenues totaled $173.9 million for the quarter -- an increase of 10.3% compared to the same quarter last year, “reflecting primarily continuing strength in CareerBuilder’s revenue,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said Monday.

"Importantly, digital revenues continued to show positive momentum in all of our business segments and were up 10% company-wide compared to last year, reflecting the success we are having in offering content and solutions across all platforms,” Martore said.

Whether the company can grow its digital businesses quickly enough to offset print declines while maintaining profitability remains to be seen.

Operating cash flow for the quarter was $42.1 million compared to $36.0 million year-over-year -- an increase of 16.8%.

Digital revenues company-wide, including the digital segment and all digital revenues generated by the other business segments, were 9.8% higher, and totaled $272.6 million -- 21.5% of total operating revenues. 

At the end of the quarter, Gannett had about 120 domestic Web sites affiliated with its local publishing and television markets, USA Today, Gannett Government Media and Gannett Healthcare Group. The company also had Web sites in all of its 19 television markets.

In September, Gannett’s consolidated domestic Internet audience share was 51.5 million unique visitors reaching 23.6% of the Internet audience, it reports, citing comScore Media Metrix.

Its Newsquest property is also doing well in the UK, where its network of sites attracted 78.2 million monthly page impressions from approximately 9.3 million unique users in September.

Meanwhile, CareerBuilder’s unique visitors in the third quarter averaged 24.8 million -- an increase of 11.5% over the same period last year.

And across the company, USA Today and its local sites served over 1.3 billion mobile page views in the first half of the year -- up 107% from the same time period a year ago. The company said its USA Today app has now been downloaded more than 10 million times, which bodes well for its cross-channel future.

Digital-segment operating expenses were $139.6 million -- 1.7% lower, reflecting the impact of special item charges in 2010’s third quarter.

 On a non-GAAP basis, operating expenses were 8.2% higher, while digital-segment operating income more than doubled on a reported basis, and was 19.8% higher on a non-GAAP basis.

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