Gannett’s Earnings Decline 8.3 Percent

By Greg Michael

If can’t squeeze out a profit in newspapers, who can? The corporation is so bottom-line that many of the managers would be better off making minimum wage than on a salary. Financial analysts should look at one of their middle-America papers and note that the walls haven’t been painted in decades and the carpets are older.

Gannett execs have to push for goals of 20 percent profit by cutting costs if the money isn’t coming from the local car dealerships and furniture stores. Sixty-hour weeks are the norm for the middle managers. There are real pressures to hit all goals and a lot of updates so that there are no gaps or big surprises.

Much like the former Soviet Union, where the riches went to Moscow from the satelite countries, at Gannett, the profits from the little papers in Sprinfield Mo., and Camden N.J. go to the flagship, USA Today. Any analysts who think they can split up Gannett like what’s happened to Times-Mirror, need to do  their homework. USA Today is printed at small Gannett papers distributed thoughout the USA.

Gannett, the largest newspaper company in the country, reported an 8.3 percent decline in second-quarter earnings today. Their reasons were due to stock compensation expenses, softness at papers as well as higher costs for newsprint and interest payments.

Gannett earned $310.5 million in the 13 weeks ending June 25, down from $338.6 million in the comparable period a year ago.


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