MACLEAN, VIRGINIA - The world's largest newspaper publisher Gannett Company on Wednesday reported earnings down 11% in the first quarter, as ad revenue dropped across its newspapers, including flagship USA Today. At the same time, expenses rose mainly due to higher newsprint costs.
    Gannett, which publishes some ninety daily newspapers and runs 21 TV stations, said net profit for the first three months of 2006 fell year-on-year to $235.3 million (€194.35m; £134.4m) from $265.7m.
    "It's a tough market," said Tom Russo, partner at Gardner, Russo & Gardner, a Pennsylvania fund manager. "Newspapers have to work hard to sustain their traditional share of advertising because there are more alternatives today."