The McClatchy Co., publisher of The Miami Herald and Sacramento Bee among other newspapers, announced that total revenues fell 5.8% from $280.7 million in the first quarter of 2014 to $264.4 million in the first quarter of 2015.
Over this period, McClatchy’s ad revenues fell 15.9% from $175.6 million to $151.2 million. Within these figures, retail ads fell 12.9% from $87.9 million to $76.6 million, national ads were down 25.5% from $12.8 million to $9.6 million, classifieds slipped 8.8% from $50.5 million to $46.1 million.
In terms of specific classified categories, automotive was down 12.3% to $16.1 million, real estate fell 9.8% to $6.8 million, and employment slid 10.4% to $8.2 million. McClatchy’s direct marketing revenues decreased 9.6% from $28.7 million to $26 million.
These declines were offset somewhat by an increase in circulation revenues, up 4.8% from $89 million to $93.2 million. Total digital ad revenues excluding revenues from Apartments.com, which the company sold in April 2014, increased 4.4% from $28.5 million to $29.7 million.
In proportional terms, digital-only advertising made up 18.7% of McClatchy’s total ad revenues in the first quarter.
Looking to the future, McClatchy CEO Pat Talamantes said the company will focus on boosting revenues with a number of initiatives in nontraditional areas, including expanding the company’s impressLOCAL product, which provides a range of agency services to small and medium-sized business in local markets.
On the publishing side, McClatchy is focused on expanding its video production capabilities and cutting costs in production and distribution, with substantial savings possible on newsprint costs.
This year, McClatchy expects over two-thirds of its revenues to be derived from sources other than print newspaper advertising.