Friday, October 15, 2010

Gannett profits soar thanks to 22% increase in broadcast revenue; but print ad business continues to decline

Gannett Co. Inc. reported a dramatic increase in overall profits thanks to huge increases in broadcast revenue, though newspaper print advertising remained in the dumper.

Profits at the media giant increased in the Q3 38 percent, spurred on by a 22 percent increase in broadcast revenue. One year ago the company reported that its broadcast revenue had fallen 23 percent, so this is a dramatic reversal of fortune -- though the company did have the mid-term elections to help it.

Print advertising, though, is not showing the same level of recovery. The print side reported a decrease in ad revenue of 5.1 percent -- this is on top of the 28 percent decline it reported a year ago. Previous Gannett had reported that its Q2 print revenue had declined a similar amount -- 5.7 percent.

Although many newspaper companies are reporting a moderation of losses in print advertising, it must be remembered that this is on top of huge losses in the prior year or two. With the housing crisis worsening, it is possible that there will be more pressure on ad budgets in the next few quarters.

Gannett also reported a ten percent increase in digital advertising, a sign that the overall advertising market has improved somewhat. On Wednesday of this week, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that ad spending online had reached $12.1 billion in the first half of this year -- a new record and an 11.3 percent increase over the first half of 2009.

Want a little bit good news? Gannett will; be adding 35 positions in its Fort Myers, Florida online ad operation department. In return the media giant will receive up to $105,000 from the Lee County Job Opportunity Program, according to

Ironically, is a E.W. Scripps property, so that must have hurt a little to report.