USAToday parent Gannett (NYSE: GCI) has announced Q4 revenue of $1.89 billion, down 11.9 percent year-on-year from $2.15 billion. A 12 percent decline in newspaper advertising and 21.7 percent drop in its broadcast business were the main culprits. Net income fell by over 30 percent to $245.3 million, although the company booked a $50 million impairment charge in the quarter. Part of the decline in all categories can be blamed on the fact that there was one less week in the quarter, compared to the previous year’s. The company cited a soft economic environment along with the well-worn secular issues facing the industry for its weakness. The release doesn’t offer much detail on Gannett’s digital efforts — “Our online revenue growth contributed to our results for the quarter.” — though it was discussed more during the call. (see below).
Conference call: (From the transcript) For the most part, the call reads like many other traditional media conference calls of late. Some points on digital not in the release:
– Company-wide digital growth in the quarter came in at 11 percent, with broadcast online growing 18 percent, Newsquest (UK) up 18 percent and Pointroll growing 34 percent. The company didn’t give out a digital dollar amount for the quarter, though for the year, total revenue came to $460 million.
– Domestic web traffic came to 24 million unique visitors.
– New initiatives: CEO Craig Dubow specifically mentioned the company’s work with Pluck on social networking and Maven (rumored to be selling to Yahoo) on video, as key Gannett’s efforts.