Washington Post Hit With 85% Earnings Drop
Times are not good at The Washington Post:
The Washington Post Co. on Friday reported bad news for its newspaper division, with revenue totaling $127.3 million for the first quarter of this year — down four percent from 2012 — and an operating loss of $34.5 million.
Overall, the company posted a profit of just $4.7 million, an 85 percent drop in earnings from the net income of $31 million for the first quarter of last year.
In the newspaper division, daily and Sunday circulation at the Post dropped 7.2 and 7.7 percent, respectively, compared to 2012. Average daily circulation totaled 457,100 copies, with Sundays at 659,500. The report also noted that in January of this year, the Post increased the paper’s price for daily home delivery and daily and Sunday single copies. And print advertising revenue at the Post in the first quarter of 2013 dropped 8 percent to $48.6 million, down from $52.7 million in the first quarter of 2012.
As for online — primarily washingtonpost.com and Slate — the company had better news to report. Revenue generated by the company’s online publishing increased 8 percent to $25.8 million for the first quarter of 2013, compared to $23.9 million for the first quarter of 2012. The company also posted a 16 percent increase i online display advertising, although online classified advertising revenue on washingtonpost.com fell 6 percent for the first quarter of 2013.
For this year’s first quarter, the company noted much of the $34.5 million in operating losses come from pension, early retirement and severance expenses. In the first quarter of 2012, the company’s newspaper division lost $20.6 million, for comparison.
Overall, the company reported an 85 percent drop in net income for the first quarter, with revenue up slightly compared to last year — $959.1 million to 2012’s first quarter of $955.5 million.
No wonder they’re talking about setting up a paywall