Friday, November 2, 2012

The Washington Post Co. reports higher earnings as broadcast revenue spike, print revenue and education continue to be a drag on performance

The Washington Post Co. this morning reported its Q3 earnings: net income was $93.8 million versus a loss of $6.2 million in Q3 of 2011. The company reported that broadcast revenue increased 44 percent in the quarter, thanks to political advertising and the Olympics.

Print revenue continues to slide, however. Print revenue fell 11 percent to $51.4 million. But unlike the NYT, the WaPo was able to report that digital revenue grew in the quarter 13 percent to $26.9 million (versus $51.4 million for print). These revenue numbers include

Circulation, too, continues to fall, with daily circ down 9.2 percent, and Sudnay circ down 6.45 percent. The WaPo said that circulation now stands at 471,200 on weekdays and 689,000 on Sundays.

The company has, in years past, been highly dependent on its paid education division, Kaplan. So much so, that many have complained that the media company has a conflict of interest in this area – promoting government support for for-profit education at the expense of public education, all the while decrying "big government".

But Kaplan's performance was weaker in Q3, with revenue falling 17 percent, and operating income falling to $1.5 million in the quarter, citing “reflect weaker market demand over the past year.”