Tribune Publishing's Digital Subscribers Rise 45% In Q1

Tribune Publishing grew its digital-only subscribers from 195,000 at the end of the first quarter 2018 to 283,000 in the first three months of 2019, a 45% increase, according to the company’s Q1 report.

Timothy P. Knight, Tribune Publishing CEO and president, said these numbers reflect “our continued efforts to expand digital-only subscribers and revenue. We have delivered 19 consecutive quarters of digital subscription volume and revenue growth across the Tribune Publishing portfolio, he added.

Tribune Publishing operates New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, and The Virginian-Pilot. It announced last week that Chicago Tribune had surpassed 100,000 paid digital subscribers.

Total advertising revenue and digital advertising revenue were $96.8 million and $20.8 million, down 5.5% from $22 million in 2018, respectively.

Total revenues for the company increased 2.6% year-over-year, to $244.5 million.

“Our focus on driving digital content revenue growth, coupled with the cost management actions we implemented in late 2018, enabled us to deliver significant year-over-year improvement in adjusted EBITDA, exceeding our expectations for the quarter and laying a solid foundation for our future,” stated Knight.

Digital content revenues increased 43%, compared to the first quarter of 2018.

Total operating expenses, including depreciation and amortization, in the first quarter of 2019 were $251.9 million, down 6.5%, compared to $269.4 million in the first quarter of 2018.

The company says the decrease is a result of “ongoing strong cost management partially offset by the impact of the Best Reviews and Virginian-Pilot Media Companies acquisitions.”

Tribune Publishing purchased the Virginia media brands last year.

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