Gannett, which publishes 90 daily newspapers including USA Today, the largest-selling daily, earned $310.5 million in the 13 weeks ending June 25, down from $338.6 million in the comparable period a year ago.
The company earned $1.31 per share, in line with the estimates of analysts polled by Thomson Financial and below the $1.37 reported a year ago.
Revenue climbed 6.1 percent to $2.03 billion from $1.91 billion a year ago, as the company consolidated results from newspaper operations in Detroit. Assuming Gannett owned the same properties in both periods, revenue would have increased 0.5 percent.
Last year the company bought the Detroit Free Press from Knight Ridder Inc. and combined it into a partnership with The Detroit News, which MediaNews Group Inc. bought from Gannett.
At USA Today, advertising revenue rose 0.7 percent in the quarter while paid advertising pages declined 7 percent to 1,107 from 1,191.
Reported newspaper advertising revenue rose 6.4 percent in the quarter, or 0.3 percent had the company owned the same properties in both periods. Same-property advertising revenue in the United States rose 2.2 percent.
Newspaper operating expenses rose 9.8 percent in the quarter on the inclusion of Detroit, or 1.3 percent on a same-property basis. Newsprint expenses, including the addition of Detroit, rose 12.2 percent, reflecting higher newsprint prices and usage. On a same-property basis, newsprint expenses rose 5.2 percent.
In a statement, Gannett CEO Craig Dubow said positive domestic results were "partially offset by continued soft ad demand" in the British market, which is showing signs of stabilizing.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
GANNETT REPORTS REV DECLINE
The corporate parent of the News-Leader issued its second-quarter earnings report on Wednesday and blamed "softness" in the British ad market for some of the 8.3 percent decline in earnings. The Associated Press has it this way:
For those who don't know the correct way to pronounce "Gannett," remember -- the emphasis is always on the "net."
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The News-Leader's ever-shrinking news hole is about to shrink a little more, right along with its already shrunken staff.
It amazes me that anyone even advertises in the News-Leader anymore. The ad rates are terribly expensive, especially if you taking out an employment ad. I don't know how small businesses afford it.
When exactly is enough profit enough? For newspapers, the answer seems to be that there is never enough. This trend of corporate ownership has led to placing greater importance on the return on investment. The journalism business has changed and profit has become more important than journalism.
Would that be the shrunken size of its staff, or its shrunken morale?
Take your pick.
Look on the bright side -- every departure (has there been one this week?) means one more desk to plunder for office supplies ...
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