Blog Post

Acquisitions Spur Revenue Growth at MediaNews; Ad Sales Continue to Slump

Privately held newspaper publisher MediaNews Group has filed its annual report with the SEC, which shows revenue growth of of 59 percent ($1.3 billion vs. $835 million) fueled by acquisitions during the year. Net income also jumped, from just $1.0 million to $35.6 million for the year. But both of these figures mask deeper problems at the company, as ad sales slowed by 6.6 percent year-over-year on a same-paper basis. Circulation revenue also dropped 5.6 percent. Partially offsetting the print weakness was internet revenue, which grew by 7.7 percent (although this is fairly slow compared to some other newspaper publishers). Interactive revenue now accounts for 6 percent of the company’s overall ad revenue, up from 5 percent the year before. The company indicated that it plans to focus on this area more, in particular its partnership with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), although it didn’t break out any numbers for that relationship. Filing.

Meanwhile, the deterioration of the company’s operations prompted S&P to put its debt on credit watch, with an eye towards a possible downgrade in the future, reports the Rocky Mountain News.