On Friday. the Washington Post Co. reported its First Quarter, 2013 net earnings of $4.7 million. That's a drop of 85% from the first quarter of 2012.
The newspaper division was a major contributor to the decline. Newspaper operations generated $127.3 million in revenues for the last quarter - off 4% from the previous year. More problematic was the net operating loss of $34.5 million. The newspaper losses were 67% higher than for the same period in 2012 Daily circulation at the Washington Post declined 7.2%, and average circulation of the Sunday edition fell 7.7%. Print advertising revenues were down 8%. Print expenses declined 12%, but was attributed "to a decline in newsprint consumption.”
On the other hand, the electronic media divisions continued to counterbalance newspaper losses. Online publishing revenues were up 8%, and online display advertising revenues gained 16%. Revenues and operating results improved for both the TV broadcasting and cable TV divisions.
Revenues were also down at the company's education division, although operating results improved.
The company blamed much of the big spike in newspaper losses on pension, early retirement, and severance expenses - although still noting that operating results for the newspaper division - even after shedding staff - continued to decline.
Source - Washington Post suffers 85% earnings drop, Politico