Journal Communications reports that May revenues were down 4.1% for its radio group and 5.9% for its TV group. That actually looks good compared to the newspaper side, where total revenues fell 10.4% and ad revenues were off 13.2%.
Yes, there was one up category in the monthly report – interactive advertising associated with the flagship Milwaukee Journal Sentinel rose 12.2%. But those interactive revenues were only $1.25 million, a $0.14 million gain that hardly plugged the newspaper’s $1.95 million decline in print ad sales.
Journal Broadcast Group saw May revenues decline 5.9% to $17.24 million. At the television group, revenue decreased 7.1% to $10.46 million, largely reflecting economic weakness in Las Vegas, Ft. Myers and Tucson and continued softness in Milwaukee, partially offset by a $140K million increase in political and issue advertising. At the radio group, revenue was down 4.1% to $6.78 million, reflecting softness in the Boise, Wichita, Springfield and Tucson radio markets and a $64K decrease in political and issue advertising.
Publishing revenues fell 10.4% to $19.39 million, with ad revenues down 13.2% to $14.16 million. The Milwaukee daily saw ad revenues decline 14.8% to $11.20 million, with retail down 7.4%, national off 11.8% and classified down a whopping 26.7%. Ad revenues for the community newspapers and shoppers fell 6.3% to $2.96 million.
RBR/TVBR observation: It seems just about everybody in “old media” is savvy enough about “new media” to consistently grow ad revenues from the Internet, mobile and other such ventures by double digits. The problem is that the new ventures are still tiny compared to the heritage behemoths that they are trying to help prop up. As old media ventures go, radio and television are doing so-so on maintaining ad revenues, but newspapers are experiencing a world of hurt – with no end to the pain in sight.