Big newspaper publishers continued to struggle in the second quarter, judging by some early earnings results. McClatchy Co. announced that total revenues declined 3.5% from $320.1 million in the
first quarter of 2012 to $308.8 million in the first quarter of 2013.
The fall was due to another year-over-year decrease in advertising revenue, which slipped 6.7% from $222.6
million to $207.7 million over this period. The decline in advertising revenue offset gains on the circulation side, where revenues grew 4.9% from $84.4 million to $88.5 million.
circulation revenue growth resulted from the introduction of online paywalls for most McClatchy newspaper Web sites over the last year.
In terms of advertising categories, retail took
the biggest hit, tumbling 10.1% from $114.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 to $103.3 million in the first quarter of 2013. Classifieds fell 7.1% from $61 million to $56.6 million, including a
6.1% drop in automotive, to $19.3 million; a 5.6% drop in real estate, to $9.1 million; and a 13.2% drop in employment, to $10.9 million.
National was a bright spot on the balance
sheet, increasing 8.7% from $15.2 million to $16.5 million. On the other hand digital advertising revenue was flat at $50 million. McClatchy CEO Pat Talamantes noted that Mother’s Day and
Memorial Day advertising were also down in 2013 compared to 2012.
Looking ahead, Talamantes said the company expects its digital subscription initiative to generate $25 million in new
revenues. The company is also benefiting from a new direct-marketing push, which accounted for 15% of total ad revenues in the second quarter.
McClatchy has newspapers across the U.S.,
including The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee
, Kansas City Star
and Charlotte Observer