TV earnings up, print earnings down at Washington Post

The Washington Post Company | The Washington Post
Third quarter revenue at the Washington Post Company overall was flat compared to the same period last year, as broadcast television and cable businesses rose, but circulation and ad revenue fell at its newspapers.

At the Post’s newspaper division, print advertising revenue was down 11 percent over the third quarter of 2011. Revenue from the Post Co.’s online operations, which are part of the newspaper division, was up 13 percent over the same period in 2011, bringing in $26.9 million. Those operations include Slate and washingtonpost.com. But overall, the newspaper division lost $21.8 million in the third quarter, due in part to a large non-cash pension charge, including a $7.5 million charge for buyouts.

The report did not include a figure for circulation revenue, but it did say average daily circulation in the first nine months of 2012 was down 9.2 percent and average Sunday circulation was down 6.2 percent over the same period in 2011. The latest Audit Bureau report released this week shows daily circulation down 9 percent and Sunday circulation down about 20 percent, with an asterisk.

Post Co. TV stations brought in revenue 44 percent higher than in the third quarter of 2011, due in part to Olympics and political advertising but also “improved advertising demand across many product categories.” Cable revenue was up 6 percent.

The company’s education division, which “continued to struggle to comply with Education Department regulations while competing with other firms and institutions,” Steven Mufson writes in The Washington Post, continues to be a source of heartburn: Operating income from its higher education division was down 94 percent over the same period in 2011. Revenues at the higher education division were down 17 percent over 2011. Enrollments have risen since June, but were down 8 percent since the end of September 2011.

Over all, net income was up $93.8 million.

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