Online Shines Amid Anemic January Revenue For Lee And Gannett

Online pluses couldn’t balance out the more negative January financial and circulation figures separately reported by newspaper publishers Lee Enterprises and Gannett on Tuesday.
For Lee, whose largest paper is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, total ad revenue slumped 3.8 percent to $66.3 million, while online ad revenue jumped 44.7 percent to $3.8 million, the company reported. Release.
Otherwise, Lee reported declines across the board:
— At its daily newspapers, employment ad revenue declined 10.5 percent to $7.2 million.
— Automotive ad revenue dipped 9.9 percent to $4.5 million.
— Real estate was down 8.1 percent to $4.6 million.
— Other classifieds fell 6.6 percent to $2.8 million.
For Gannett, the McLean, VA. newspaper chain reported operating revenues for January increased 1.7 percent, compared with the same period in 2006. Release. Other highlights:
— Newspaper advertising revenue was up a slight 0.3 percent.
— Local ad revenue was similarly flat, up only 0.2 percent for the month compared to the same period a year ago.
Gannett said that the anemic local ad results reflected the lack of a final week in December, which was included in the previous year. Gannett, parent of USA Today, didn’t break out online ad revenue. However it did note an increase in unique visitors online for January. Citing figures from NielsenNet Ratings, the company reported approximately 23.2 million unique visitors reaching 14.8 percent of the internet audience, compared to 22.1 million uniques in December, up 5 percent.

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