Circulation continues to fall along with advertising revenue. This news wil not be found in the A section today. Maybe page two in the business section?
Yet, Gannett continues to gain, while the cut staff to the bone. They are the most aggressively managed media company. They are able to keep producing profits like a mature oil patch, using all the stimulation and artificial lift technology available to keep the depleated well pumping.
Weekly circulation at U.S. dailies has dropped 2.1% over the past six months, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Sunday papers saw a 3.1% drop in circulation over the same period. The figures reflect 745 of the country’s 1,400 or so daily newspapers. The New York Post bucked the trend with a 7.6% rise, followed by the New York Daily News with a 1.4% gain. The Dallas Morning News saw a 14.3% decline, due in part to a circulation cutback to within about 100 miles of Dallas. Newsday saw a 6.9% decline. Newspaper circulation has been dropping steadily as news consumers have turned increasingly to other media, particularly round-the-clock cable TV news and the Internet.
The Dallas Morning News and Riverside News-Press Fall Below Expectations for Belo
Publisher and television station owner Belo Corp. said Thursday that first-quarter profit and sales slumped on a double-digit decline in newspaper revenue.
Profit fell 10 percent to $15.5 million, or 15 cents per share, in the January-March period, down from $17.3 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago.
Analysts had expected profit of 13 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.
Revenue fell 5 percent to $354.1 million from $371.7 million, missing Wall Street’s estimate of $368.7 million.
Belo owns four daily newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News, and 20 TV stations.
Executives forecast that TV revenue would rise by low-single digits in the April-June quarter, while newspaper revenue would decline but probably less than it did in the first quarter.
Newspaper group revenue fell 11 percent in the January-March period on soft advertising conditions, including the weak housing market in Southern California, where Belo publishes The Press-Enterprise in Riverside. Advertising of autos, health care and furniture was soft, while ads for financial services, restaurants, movies and home improvement were better, executives said.
Excluding an extra Sunday in the first quarter of 2006, newspaper revenue would have fallen slightly less — 9.3 percent from a year ago.
Belo’s newspapers have lost readers in recent years. Executives hope that a recent redesign at its flagship Dallas paper will stop the slide by tailoring the paper to its most loyal readers.
“A lot of newspapers have seen a lot of circulation move in the last three or four years, and we believe there is a point where your core readership defines itself,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Robert W. Decherd. “We hope we’re going to reach that soon.”
Belo cut jobs last year through voluntary buyouts at the Dallas and Riverside papers, which led to an 11 percent decline in newspaper costs in the first quarter. Lower newsprint prices helped, and Belo used less of it.
Major left-leaning papers are bearing the brunt of the responsibility for the declines. The same papers that promote global warming and bury the news on Nancy Pelosi’s non-union and illegal hiring practices.
Papers that are showing daily drops of 5 percent or more, according to circulation sources, include:
The Miami Herald, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Austin American-Statesman, the San Jose Mercury News, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Gary Pruitt, CEO of the McClatchy Sacramento chain continues to spin. To give a taste of what is to come, during Q1, McClatchy executives said daily circulation fell 3.6 percent and Sunday dropped 4 percent. The Sunday paper is their aircraft carrier of revenue and readership. And it’s taking water.
Shares of newspaper publisher McClatchy Company fell to a seven-year low yesterday while the stock market hit an all time high busting the 13,000 mark.
The McClatchy fall came after the company posted a sharp drop in 1st quater net income on slumping classified print ads. Revenue grew on last year’s acquisition of 20 newspapers from Knight-Ridder. Q1 net profit came in at $9 million ($0.11/share), a 67% drop from $27.7 million ($0.59/share) in the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, the company would have had EPS of $0.18. Revenue rose to $566.6 million from $194.5 million. Analysts were expecting an average EPS of $0.27 on $564 million in revenue, although estimates varied widely. Ad revenue dropped 5.3% from last year to $477 million in Q1. All three main categories of classifieds — automotive, real estate and employment — suffered double-digit percentage declines.