Print, online ad revenue fall at Washington Post

Feb 24, 2012
Flags wave in front of the Washington Post building in 2009. The Washington Post Co. reported a lower fourth-quarter net profit Friday on weakness at its education division and declining print and online advertising revenue at its flagship newspaper.

The Washington Post Co. reported a lower fourth-quarter net profit Friday on weakness at its education division and declining print and online advertising revenue at its flagship newspaper.

The Post Co., which owns the Kaplan chain of schools and television outlets in addition to The , reported a net profit of $61.7 million, or $8.03 per share, compared to $79 million, or $9.42 per share, a year ago.

Revenue declined 10 percent to $1.1 billion in the fourth-quarter.

For the year, the Post Co. reported a of $116.2 million, down from $277.2 million the previous year. Revenue declined 10 percent in 2011 to $4.21 billion.

Education division revenue declined 14 percent in the fourth quarter to $597.7 million.

Television broadcasting division revenue was down 14 percent to $88.3 million, while revenue fell to $190.8 million from $191.3 million a year earlier.

At the Post Co.'s newspaper publishing division, revenue fell four percent in the fourth quarter to $181 million while declined to $7.4 million from $19.9 million a year ago.

The fourth-quarter results included a $2.4 million charge at the newspaper publishing division for withdrawal from a pension plan.

For the year, revenue declined five percent at the newspaper publishing division to $648 million.

Print advertising revenue was down 11 percent for the year at $264.5 million and online advertising revenue for WashingtonPost.com and Slate.com fell eight percent to $105.8 million.

revenue dropped six percent in the fourth quarter to $77.1 million and online advertising revenue declined 12 percent to $31.5 million.

Daily circulation for The Washington Post fell 6.3 percent in 2011 while Sunday circulation was down four percent. Average daily circulation for the Post was 516,200 for 2011 and average Sunday circulation was 732,300.

Like other US newspapers, the Post has been grappling with declining print and circulation and the migration of readers to free news online.

Earlier this month, citing the difficult economic climate for the newspaper industry, the Post announced a voluntary buyout for some newsroom staff, the fifth buyout offer at the newspaper in recent years.

Post Co. shares were up 1.27 percent at $393.73 in early trading on Wall Street.

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