Newspapers 3Q: No More Paper Tigers

Some of the nation's largest newspaper publishers reported their July revenue on Monday, and the news isn't good. The third quarter is shaping up to be as bad as the second. As in the first half of the year, the weakness in housing markets is taking a heavy toll on real-estate classifieds.

Leading the bad news was McClatchy, where July revenues declined 8.6%, compared to the same month last year. That was due mostly to a 9.4% drop in ad revenue, to $169.4 million. Contributing to the drop in ad revenue were weaknesses in classifieds, which dropped 15.3%, and national revenue, which tumbled 19%. Real-estate classifieds suffered the biggest percentage drop, plunging 26%.

Gannett Company also attributed its weak July to declines in classified and national revenue, citing real-estate and automotive classifieds as loss leaders. Overall, newspaper revenue slid 6.1% to $408.2 million, due mostly to the 8.3% decline in classifieds and the 9.1% drop in national ad revenue. In terms of its individual properties, the most alarming results came from USA Today, where total ad revenue slid 15.9%.



Also reporting July results were Journal Communications, Inc. and Lee Enterprises. Journal Communications, which publishes 45 community newspapers and shoppers in Wisconsin and Florida, saw total revenues slip 6.7%, due mostly to a 10.6% decline in ad revenue at its publishing division.

Lee Enterprises said July ad revenue slipped 2.1% to $72.9 million, attributing the small decline to a 7.2% drop in national ad revenue and weakness across all the classified categories. Here, automotive was down 17.4%, employment 13.6%, and real estate 13.2%.

Next story loading loading..