The lone piece of good news was online revenues, which grew 9% to about $45 million, appearing to defy the general trend among big newspaper publishers, which reported shrinking or stagnating online ad revenues in recent months.
What's more, online revenues now constitute 12% of McClatchy's total advertising business--again putting it ahead of most of its peers, where online advertising typically contribute less than 10% of total ad revenues.
At the risk of sounding pessimistic, however, it should be noted that the growing proportion of total revenues contributed by online is due, in part, to the long decline in the latter. If total advertising revenues had remained the same between the third quarter of 2007 and 2008 at around $456 million, this year's online revenues would still be under 10% of the whole.
The loss of $85 million of total revenues contributed more to the percentage increase than the gain of $3.5 million in online revenues.