Friday, August 3, 2012

The Washington Post Co. reports a 13.6% increase in Q2 profits thanks to huge gain in earnings at cable tv division, but newspaper records 15% drop in ad revenue

The Washington Post Co. reported very solid earnings for the second quarter of the year, fueled by a 34 percent jump in earnings at its cable television division. But both its for-profit education division, Kaplan, and its flagship daily newspaper recorded depressed results, and revenue overall for the company was down 5 percent.

The company attributed its cable television performance to a jump in political advertising, which should continue into the fall.

Kaplan, the company's education subsidiary, saw operating income fall 84 percent as student enrollment fell 11 percent.

"Kaplan will likely incur additional restructuring costs in the second half of 2012," the company said in its earning statement. Ironically, Kaplan is heavily dependent on students and government subsidized tuition, while its parent company promotes cuts in government spending.

The Washington Post, meanwhile, recorded a 15 percent drop in print advertising, while at the same time suffering losses in both daily and Sunday circulation. Online advertising for the daily paper and Slate grew 8 percent, wiping out declines in Q1. For the first half of the year digital is flat.

Overall, the newspaper publishing division reported an operating loss in Q2 of $15.9 million compared to a loss of $2.9 million in the same quarter one year ago.