Business

McClatchy, hurt by slumping print advertising, reports Q3 net loss

McClatchy reported a net loss in the third quarter as the newspaper publisher continued to be hurt by a decline in print advertising.

McClatchy, owner of The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer, reported a net loss of $2.8 million, or 3 cents a share, versus net income of $7.3 million, or 8 cents per share, during the third quarter of 2013.

Excluding the cost of discontinued operations at the Anchorage Daily News, which McClatchy sold in May, the publisher reported a net loss of $700,000.

Total revenues in the quarter were $277.6 million, down 3.3 percent from the same period last year. Advertising revenue declined 8.6 percent to $174.6.9 million. McClatchy said the decline “reflects the impact of a sluggish print retail environment, a substantion decline in the national advertising category and the loss of revenue from Apartments.com.”

McClatchy received $147 million from the sale of Apartments.com earlier this year. The company also recently sold its stake Classified Ventures, which operates Cars.com. The company’s after-tax proceeds from the sale, which closed in McClatchy’s fiscal fourth quarter, are expected to be $406 million.

Like other newspaper publishers, McClatchy has been struggling to offset declining print revenues with revenue from its digital initiatives. The company’s digital-only advertising revenue increased 5.4 percent and was up 8.9 percent when you exclude Apartments.com-related revenue from 2013.

CEO Pat Talamantes said the company continues to diversify its business away from print advertising. Non-print advertising revenue accounted for 64 percent of the company’s total revenue in the third quarter.

"Our ongoing efforts to find efficiencies in our legacy business are just as intense as our focus on growing our digital business,” Talamantes said in a statement. “We are working to identify more legacy cost savings while strengthening our print and digital products in the fourth quarter and 2015."

McClatchy shares were up about 4 percent in early trading Thursday.

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