Q2 revenues down for Journal Communications


Both radio and TV saw revenues decline in Q2 for Journal Communications, although the company said broadcast revenues were essentially flat excluding last year’s political windfall. The story for the newspaper side was worse, with all ad categories down except for online ad sales.

“In the second quarter, Journal Communications saw mixed results in this challenging operating environment,” said Steven Smith, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Journal Communications. “Overall publishing and broadcast revenue was down in the second quarter compared to the second quarter of 2010. However, excluding political and issue advertising in both years, we did see a revenue increase at our television stations in the second quarter. In addition, we continue to see an increase in interactive revenue in both our broadcast and publishing businesses. Furthermore, total operating costs and expenses were down 2.4% compared to second quarter 2010,” Smith said in the formal announcement ahead of his quarterly conference call with analyst.

Broadcasting revenues fell 2% to $46.1 million, with TV down 2.1% to $28.7 million and radio down 1.8% to $17.4 million. Operating earnings were down 13.8% to $8.3 million, with TV down 20.1% to $4.3 million and radio down 5.7% to $4 million.

Publishing revenues were down 6.9% to $44.1 million and operating earnings dropped 19.3% to $5.4 million. For the flagship Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – the company’s only daily – revenues were down 5.9% to $36.7 million. Retail advertising for the paper was down 7.8%, classified fell 14.1% and interactive advertising rose 7.3%.

As for Q3: “For the third quarter of 2011, we anticipate that publishing revenues will be down compared to the prior year period reflecting continued challenges with publishing advertising revenue. Excluding political and issue advertising in broadcast, broadcast revenues are expected to be up slightly compared to the prior year period.”

RBR-TVBR observation:
This is the fourth straight quarter where broadcasting revenues have exceeded publishing revenues at Journal Communications. Despite its history, this is no longer primarily a newspaper company.