Looking ahead at Journal


The execs at Journal Communications had a difficult Q3 (not uncommon during an off-election year), and the continuing weakness in advertising in general is expected to continue into Q4. This will be exacerbated by comparing the 2007 13-week Q4 to the 14 weeks in the quarter last year, but the company expects to slip anyway.

If there were no other reasons, last years 10M take in political, 9M for television and 1M for radio, will be tough to overcome. Journal is looking for some political to start coming in by December, but so far there have been no placements.

Chairman/CEO Steve Smith said the company’s focus going forward is to pursue growth online, concentrate on developmental business, build ratings increases and place continuing emphasis on cost control. It will be open to acquisition, and will buy back what it thinks is undervalued stock shares. Journal is currently not benefiting from television’s latest revenue stream, cable retransmission fees, and expects to begin negotiations on that front soon. With only one major daily newspaper in Milwaukee, grandfathered with cross-owned broadcast properties, there are absolutely no plans to split the company along broadcast/print lines.

Broadcast honcho Doug Kiel noted that even though automotive came in at a loss for the quarter, down about 500K, it had been down about triple that amount in Q2, so if ever a negative number might be read as a positive, this would may the time