Earnings: Washington Post Co. Q2 Profit, Revs Fall; Online Revs Gain 11 Percent In Q2 and H107

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Reflecting newspaper industry declines in print ads, as well as rising online revenues, The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) saw Q2 profits drop 12.6 percent to $68.8 million, or $7.19 per share, from last year’s $78.7 million, or $8.17 per share. Revenues in Q2 were up 8 percent to $1.04 billion, from $969 during the same period in 2006. The education and cable TV segments were the main sources of revenue, while the publishing and TV broadcast divisions were down. Specifics from WaPo’s Q2’s earnings results included:

— The newspaper publishing unit’s revenue totaled $227.9 million, a decrease of 7 percent from $245.6 million last year. Print ad revenue at The Post fell 13 percent to $128.4 million, from $148.3 million in Q206. Classified recruitment ad revenue dropped 22 percent to $13.2 million. The magazine publishing division had $73.4 million in Q2 revenue, a 13 percent decline from $84.2 million last year.

— Online publishing revenue, primarily from the washingtonpost.com, rose 11 percent year-over-year to $28.2 million in Q2 from $25.3 million.

— For the first six months of the year, online revenues grew 11 percent as well, coming in at $53.2 million over the same period for 2006, which was $48.2 million. Display ad revenues gained 13 percent and 16 percent for Q2 and for H107, respectively. Online classified ad revenue at the washingtonpost.com increased 11 percent and 8 percent for Q2 and first six months of 2007, respectively. Earnings release

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I wonder how Murdoch's takeover of Dow Jones will influence the business model of such 'classic' print media companies like the Washington Post. From the financial aspect of this industry Murdoch certainly seems to be one of the luminaries. But I think very few people would argue that through his previous ventures he has somehow enriched public discourse. Is his the example that these companies will inevitably follow?

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