Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) reported a 16 percent drop in first quarter profit on Friday, citing lower revenues in its newspaper publishing, magazine publishing and television broadcasting divisions.

Net income for the firm’s first fiscal quarter net income was $64.4 million, or $6.70 per share, down from net income of $76.9 million, or $7.95 per share reported in the same quarter of last year.

Analysts had widely expected earnings of $8.73 per share, according to a poll conducted by Thomson Financial.

Growth at the Washington based media company’s education and cable television divisions helped buoy revenue. Sales for the quarter ending April 1 were $985.6 million, up 4 percent from $948.3 million in 2006.

The education unit includes the Kaplan’s post-secondary education businesses in the United States, which saw revenue grow 16 percent to $475.8 million.

As I wrote in our 2006 Annual Report, ‘Kaplan will never be a business where the quarterly results look smooth, Post Company chairman and CEO Donald E. Graham said in a statement.2006 started with a bang; 2007 should get better as the year goes on.

The company's other divisions did not fare so well, however.

Its Newspaper publishing division has been hit by a shift of advertisers migrating from traditional media to Internet advertising.

Revenue in the newspaper division totaled $219.2 million for the first quarter of 2007, a 10 percent decrease from revenue of $243.5 million for the first quarter of 2006. Division operating income was down 53 percent to $14.9 million, from $32.0 million in 2006.

The online edition of the newspaper, Washingtonpost.com was up 10 percent to $25.1 million for the first quarter, versus $22.8 million in 2006.

Magazine publishing revenue also dropped to $61.2 million for the first quarter of 2007, an 18 percent decrease from $74.8 million for the first quarter of 2006.

The cable and television divisions were also down, posting a 6 percent loss.

Washington Post shares dropped $4.40, or 0.57 percent, to $764.50 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.