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Earnings: WaPo Cuts Net Loss In Half; Online Revs Down 8 Percent

imageThe Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) narrowed its net loss in Q1 to $19.5 million ($2.04 loss per share) for its first quarter ended March 29, 2009, compared to net income of $39.3 million ($4.08 per share), but that was about as positive as its results got. The net loss included a $24.6 million charge related to early retirement program expense at Newsweek. Revenue slipped 1 percent to $1.05 billion, which isn’t too bad considering the double digit drops of many of its competitors. Still, cable TV and education masked the steep declines at the newspapers and magazines. For example, online ad revenues were down 8 percent to $22 million in the publishing division. Earnings release

Newspaper publishing division revenue totaled $160.9 million, a 22 percent decline from revenue of $206.1 million for the first quarter of 2008. Print advertising revenue at The Post fell 33 percent to $74.3 million, which was due to significant falloff in classified, preprint, retail and zones ads. In particular, display ad dollars were up weakly at 3 percent, as online classified advertising revenue on plunged 23 percent.