Decline in Newspaper Advertising Continues to Hit Gannett

 @ibtimes on October 17 2011 3:15 PM

Gannett Co., publisher of USA Today, announced a decline in third-quarter earnings Monday as the company continues to struggle with declining print advertising revenue.

The company earned $99.8 million in the third quarter, down from $101.4 million at the same time last quarter; a drop of 1.6 percent. Operating revenues declined 3.5 percent from last year to $1.27 billion.

Revenue through print advertising continues to decline at Gannett, the largest newspaper company by circulation with over 80 newspapers. Net operating revenue fell to $591.7 million from $646.7 million last year, an 8.5 percent decline. Furthermore, circulation revenue declined to $262.1 million from $264.6 million, a one percent decline.

Broadcasting also saw a decline in revenue, falling 5.9 percent to $174.3 million compared to $185.3 million last year. The company points to advertising spending from the 2010 Election as the reason for this year's drop in broadcasting revenue. Gannett operates 23 television stations.

Gannett did see some success in their digital revenue. The company saw a 10.3 percent increase in net operating revenue in the third quarter compared to last year ($173.9 million compared with $157.6 million last year).  

We remain focused on aligning expenses with areas of opportunity, while leveraging our great brands, strong balance sheet and world-class talent to position Gannett for long-term growth, CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. I'm convinced we have the right strategy and team in place to continue to remake Gannett in the digital age.

However, Gannett, along with other newspapers across the country, has struggled to make up declining print revenue through digital platforms.

Gannett shares tumbled to $9.98 by late day trading, a decline of 8.73 percent. Other newspaper companies fell along with Gannett. Shares of The New York Times Company fell 6.33 percent to $6.51, the Washington Post Company fell 3.03 percent to $337.90 and McClatchy fell 5.45 percent to $1.56.

Write to Samuel Weigley at s.weigley@ibtimes.com

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