McClatchy Co down 19.9% in ad revenues, delivers a profit (just)

Newspaper group The McClatchy Company has posted a third quarter profit despite a decline in ad revenues.

McClatchy posted a net income for the quarter ending September 28 of $4.2 million, or 5 cents a share, compared to a loss of $1.3 billion, or $16.42 a share in the same period last year. Last years loss was due to a write-down in company assets. Third-quarter net income, excluding one-time charges, was $10.4 million, or 13 cents a share.

The news on the advertising front for McClatchy is all grim heading into the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

In September, classified advertising revenue fell 31%, national advertising declined 19% and local retail advertising declined nearly 13%. The losses were offset slightly by a net gain in online advertising of 6.6%. Print advertising dropped 21.8% to $325 million for the quarter.

Until we see more newspaper results to compare, we can’t call this a trend yet, but the decline in McClathchy may indicate an acceleration in the downward spiral in print advertising, that throughout the United States averaged 14% for the first half of 2008.

McClatchy owns The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee and 28 other daily newspapers.

(in part via Forbes)