Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The N&O’s Sinking Parent

This AP story, McClatchy Aug. Revenue Dips 8.4 Percent , is followed by some JinC commentary:

[The Raleigh News & Observer’s parent] McClatchy Co. said Wednesday its August revenue fell 8.4 percent partly due to declining real estate and employment ad sales.

The newspaper publisher reported total advertising sales slipped 9.2 percent to $143.6 million from $158.2 million a year ago.

The company, which owns 31 daily newspapers including The Miami Herald and The Sacramento Bee, said national ad revenue dropped 11.7 percent while classified slid 17.3 percent. Classified categories experiencing the most weakness were real estate, down 25.8 percent, and employment off 19.1 percent.

"We have seen continued declines in real estate advertising, particularly in the California and Florida newspapers," Chairman and Chief Executive Gary Pruitt said in a statement.

He added that he expects little improvement in advertising trends before the fourth quarter and anticipates revenue will likely still be negative in that quarter.
For the year to date, pro forma revenue is down 7.1 percent while ad sales are off 8 percent. Pro forma results include newspapers purchased in the Knight Ridder acquisition and exclude the Minneapolis Star Tribune for the first six months of last year.

Shares fell 10 cents to $21.10 in morning trading.

Let’s put McClatchy’s current share price in perspective.

Using Yahoo Finance to search and entering McClatchy’s stock symbol MNI @ 2:30 p.m. eastern on 9/19/07 I learned:

One year ago today MNI closed just below 40.

Its high for the year was 44.95.

During the past year the Dow has risen close to 20% while MNI has fallen close to 50%.

Five years ago today MNI's stock price stood at just above 60.

A blog friend I call Louisiana Wise Man gives McClatchy three more years.

On the other hand, the N&O’s executive editor for news, Melanie Sill, and the paper’s managing editor, John Drescher, are very upbeat about McClatchy.

So are many journalism school professors who keep recruiting students into the j-schools despite all the newspaper layoffs and job eliminations we’re seeing nationwide.

Well, there you are folks, I reported, you decide.


Anonymous said...

Good papers - THE NYPost and WSJ have rising circulation. Not to much agenda in the stories. For those like the WP, NYT and NO = they deserve what they get. Obviously, they would rather go down than drop their agendas.

Anonymous said...

Alternatively, the NY Times recently tore down it's firewall for the Times Select web site for their editorial and opinion columns after two stagnant (at best) years.

During the same two years the NYT's share price has declined 40% (according to the financial calculator on the NYT's own Investor Relations page.)

They're apparently not going down as fast as McClatchy. So they have that going for them.

- TombZ