The newspaper business actually outperformed television in Q2 at the Washington Post Company. Print ad revenues were down 20%, the same as the revenue decline for TV, but total print revenues fell only 14%. Print reduced its operating loss, while operating income fell by half for TV – but at least it was still a positive number.
Q2 revenues for the Post-Newsweek station group were down 20% to $66.7 million. Operating income fell 52% to $14.3 million. “The decrease in revenue and operating income is due to weaker advertising demand in all markets and most product categories, particularly automotive,” the company noted in its press release. The Washington Post Company does not conduct quarterly conference calls with analysts.
Newspaper revenues declined 14% to $168.8 million as ad revenues fell 20% to $80 million. The Washington Post has been cutting costs. 220 people took the company up on its early retirement offer in Q1 and the newspaper shut down one of its two Washington, DC area printing plants in Q2. The print division operating loss improved by 8% to $89.3 million in Q2.
But because of diversification, the Washington Post Company posted gains in both revenues and operating income for Q2. Its biggest division is now education, including Kaplan and other properties. Revenues there rose 13% to $649.3 million and operating income rose 23% to $58.1 million.
Overall, Q2 revenues rose 2% to $1.13 billion and operating income rose 28% to $6.2 million. On the bottom line, the Washington Post Company flipped from a loss of $2.7 million, or 31 cents per share, a year earlier, to a Q2 2009 profit of $11.4 million, or $1.30 per diluted share.