Little Joy as US Newspaper Giants Post Q2 Results

17 July 2003

Times remain hard for US newspaper publishers, judged by second-quarter results out this week.

Gannett – owner of leading stateside daily USA Today – performed best, managing a 5.7% year-on-year revenue rise to $1.7 billion (€1.5bn; £1.1bn) and a 6.7% jump in net income to $324.3 million.

The group was boosted by a strong showing at its British regional newspaper group Newsquest. However, there was less to cheer across the Atlantic, where advertising revenues at USA Today remained flat compared with Q2 2002 after a 27% tumble in travel ads.

Looking ahead, chairman/president/ceo Douglas McCorkindale said economic prospects were “uneven and tentative”.

Dow Jones also performed best in Europe, where its regional edition of the Wall Street Journal saw a 5% rise in ad linage. In the US, however, the title suffered an 8% fall in linage, while the Asian edition fell 5%.

Overall revenues slid 5.6% to $393.6m, and net income tumbled 43% to $30.8m (though excluding exceptional items it rose slightly).

Dow Jones expects a third-quarter improvement, with ad linage at the US Wall Street Journal forecast to be flat or slightly up year-on-year.

• The New York Times Company, meanwhile, posted a 7.5% drop in net income to $72.8m, despite a 3.8% increase in revenues to $801.9 million.

Last month the group warned analysts that the weak ad market and higher-than-anticipated expenses would hit the bottom line.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff