Washington Post turns profit in second quarter

The Washington Post Co.
The Washington Post Co.’s revenues dropped 5 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period in 2011, but that was tempered by a big gain in political ad revenue in the company’s broadcast division. The company posted a bigger profit in the second quarter compared to the year before, but not when you exclude earnings from operations that it sold off earlier this year.

The Post’s newspaper division lost money. Print advertising revenue continues to decline; it’s down 15 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011. Print circulation is down, too: 9.3 percent for daily and 6.1 percent for Sunday for the first six months of 2012 compared to 2011.

But the company’s online publishing revenues are up by 8 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011. That’s much better than the first quarter, when digital revenue had dropped along with print. The second-quarter increase was driven by a 14 percent increase in online display advertising and offset slightly by a 2 percent drop in online classified revenue.

The cable TV division’s revenue rose 2 percent, mostly from Internet and telephone service. The company’s cable and broadcast divisions remain highly profitable, more than covering losses in publishing.

Revenue at the Post Co.’s education division, by far the largest, dropped 9 percent, but it still turned a profit.

Related: What’s really going wrong (and right) at The Washington PostWashington Post’s Sunday circulation drop not as steep as it appears

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