Like other TV broadcasters, the Post-Newsweek Stations division of the Washington Post Company felt the lack of political advertising in Q4. The resulting revenue decline produced a quarter where the newspaper division actually outperformed broadcasting.
TV revenues were down 14% to Q4 to $88.3 million – a $14.6 million decline due entirely to an $18.9 million decrease in political advertising. Operating income for the quarter declined 10% to $40.9 million.
The Washington Post newspaper saw Q4 revenues decline 4% to $181 million, with advertising revenue down 6% to $77.1 million. Operating income for the newspaper division dropped to $7.4 million from $19.9 million a year earlier.
For all of 2011 TV revenues were down 7% to $319.2 million. That decline of $23 million was more than explained by the lack of $4.7 million in Olympics advertising and $32.8 million in political advertising. Of course, both the Olympics and a federal election will be back this year. Operating income declined 4% for the year to $117.1 million.
The company’s biggest division, Education, continued to struggle. Q4 revenues fell 14% to $597.7 million and operating income fell by more than half to $32.3 million – less than what the television division produced for the quarter (and the situation was the same for the year as well).
All in all, Q4 revenues for the Washington Post Company were down 10% to $1.06 billion and operating income fell 29% to $107.7 million. Net income attributable to common shareholders was $61.7 million, or $8.03 per share, down from $79 million, or $9.42 per share, in Q4 of 2010.