Posted by: davidrcollier | August 1, 2009

WaPo returns to profitability – newspapers saved?

The Washington Post announced yesterday that it had seen a 2% increase in revenue compared to earnings from last year.

Does this herald an upswing in print media?

Not really. Breaking down the numbers of the recent profit release for WaPo shows:

a) a 20% drop in ad revenue for the quarter and an overall $89m loss (includes $56.8m in buyout for forcing those over 50 to accept early retirement) for the newspaper division in the 2nd quarter. 1st quarter losses were $40.3m

b) the Washington Post is now mostly an education and cable company with it’s Kaplan Inc division contributing a massive 57% of its revenue, and it’s cable subsdiary, Cable One, adding in 17%. The newspaper division was only able to chip in 15% of overall revenue.

It looks like only through diversifying into other areas, can newspaper companies offset the hit taken by their newspaper divisions. If this continues it is easy to see the Washington Post exiting the newspaper business completely.

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Responses

  1. I really find it a shame that all these papers are dying right when I’m starting to take an interest in the media, especially in relation to politics.

    The Washington Post definitely had a large political voice being based in DC. I hope they take their time to die out because I hope to read the WaPo newspaper one day in the future when I’m back in DC.

    That being said, the news coverage online and in the blogoshpere is sure making it hard for newspaper reporters to break stories. Maybe as blog popularity rises in the general public, papers will become critically endangered of extinction.


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