Media Briefs: Washington Post mixed results, Conde Nast makes cuts

Another week ended with mixed news on the media front, with The Washington Post reporting mixed results, and Conde Nast making cuts.

Figures for the 3rd quarter released by the Washington Post showed a massive drop in operating income to $10.1 million, down from $72.2 million, but the majority of the drop was caused by a $60 million charge to write down the value of its Maryland community newspapers and a paper in Washington state.

Advertising delivered good news and bad news. The bad news saw newspaper publishing revenue fall 7% for the quarter off a decline in print advertising revenue of 14% at The Washington Post newspaper. The newspaper division reported an operating loss of $82.7 million in the third quarter of 2008, compared to operating income of $8.8 million in the third quarter of 2007. The good news is that the decline in ad revenue slowed from a 22% decline in the 2nd quarter. Revenue from online properties rose 13%, and non-newspaper related revenue increased 10% for the quarter.

Conde Nast, publisher of a range of well known magazines and online properties has joined the layoff trend announcing a cut in payroll and nonpayroll budgets by 5%. The exact number of jobs to be cut across the company has yet to be determined.

Magazines facing the biggest changes include Men’s Vogue, which will go from 10 issues a year to 2, and Portfolio, which will shift from 12 issues to 10 per year and have its online production outsourced to Wired Digital. Staff cuts at Portfolio are said to be 20%, or 32 members of staff.