The newspaper industry saw continued declines in the second quarter of the year, judging by the results announced by the nation’s largest
newspaper publisher. On Monday, Gannett Co. revealed that total revenues declined 2.1% to $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2012. This was due entirely to declines in its newspaper
publishing division, which more than offset a healthy increase in broadcast revenues.
Total newspaper advertising revenues tumbled 8.1% to $594 million, while total circulation revenues slipped 0.6% to $264 million. By contrast, Gannett’s digital revenues grew 4.5% to $181 million, while its broadcast revenues jumped 11.4% from $184 million to $205 million.
Gannett’s newspaper business saw total retail advertising revenue fall 7%, national tumble 18.2%, and classifieds slip 3.7%. Within the classified category, automotive was up 0.8%, employment was down 0.7%, and real estate was down 13.8%.
While the newspaper advertising environment remains very challenging, Gannett President and CEO Gracia Martore pointed to some recent initiatives to raise alternative revenue streams, including the adoption of online paywalls, requiring readers to pay for access to all the newspapers in Gannett’s community publishing division. “We expect to realize year-over-year circulation revenue growth in the range of 25% at these properties as we cycle our longer-term subscriptions," she noted.
On the broadcast side, Gannett also expects to reap increased ad revenues from the Olympics and political advertising in a contested election year.