February 11, 2015 Last Updated 12:17 pm

Sale of Cars.com drives big gain in income at McClatchy, but ad revenue continues to fall

The publisher of the Sacramento Bee, The McClatchy Company, today reported its full year earnings for 2014. Thanks to the sale of Cars.com, the company was able to report $302 million in net income for the quarter, and a full year that beat 2013.

But revenue fell in the quarter to $317.6 million versus $337.6 million in the same quarter of 2013. For the year, total revenue fell 3.9 percent for the year. The culprit was advertising revenue which fell 8.4 percent in 2014. Circulation revenue, on the hand, grew nearly 6 percent.

“Operational results in the fourth quarter were hampered by the continued sluggishness in the print retail environment and also reflected a difficult comparison to the 2013 fourth quarter, our strongest quarter for revenue performance in 2013,” Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s president and CEO, said.

“Additionally, national advertising remains a challenging category across the industry for regional newspaper companies. Digital advertising and audience revenues continued to grow: total digital-only advertising revenues, excluding the impact of selling Apartments.com in April of 2014, grew 6.3% in the fourth quarter and 10.6% for all of 2014 compared to the same periods in 2013, and audience revenues were up 5.2% in the fourth quarter. Together with direct marketing and other non-traditional revenues, revenue categories other than print newspaper advertising accounted for over 62% of our total revenues for all of 2014 compared to 59% in 2013.”

Talamantes also said that funds derived from the sale of Apartments.com and Cars.com, as well as the sale of the Anchorage Daily News reduced the company’s debt by approximately $523 million.


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