Here is a summary of earnings reports for selected newspaper publishers and what they reveal about the industry’s prospects for the current quarter and beyond:
April 16: Gannett Co. says net income jumped 51 percent in first quarter compared with a year earlier. Nation’s largest newspaper publisher reports smallest drop in ad revenue in more than a year: 8 percent. CEO says year is “off to a great start.”
Tuesday: Lee Enterprises Inc., publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers, reports third profitable quarter in a row. Ad revenue dropped about 8 percent, an improvement from the 16 percent drop in final three months of 2009.
Wednesday: Media General Inc., whose newspapers include the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch and The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, says first-quarter loss narrowed. Total publishing revenue, which includes circulation, dropped 9 percent in first quarter, compared with 14 percent in previous quarter. Company expects print revenue decline to “continue to moderate.”
Thursday: The New York Times Co. reports first-quarter earnings of $12.8 million and says advertising revenue fell 6.1 percent, the smallest decline in more than a year. Company says print advertising trends in current quarter look even better.
McClatchy Co., which publishes The Miami Herald, The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee and other newspapers, says ad revenue fell 11.2 percent in first quarter. That’s better than the 20.5 percent decline in the last three months of 2009.