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The good news from the Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO) in Q3 all came from its cable TV and education holdings as the newspaper, magazine and broadcast units were all down. Even online declined 18 percent to $22.6 million in Q3, as the segment fell 12 percent to $68.1 million through the first nine months of ’09.
|3Q 2009||3Q 2008|
Looking at the specific categories of WaPo’s online publishing woes, display declined 14 percent and 4 percent in Q3 and during first nine months of 2009, respectively. The WashingtonPost.com’s classifieds plummeted 27 percent in the quarter and 26 percent from January through September. Overall, the publishing division’s revenue sank 20 percent $156.3 million, as print ads slid 28 percent.
While WaPo’s newspapers are in the doldrums like most of the industry, it has two things that its peers lack: an education company, Kaplan Inc., which WaPo’s main revenue driver, and CableOne, a small cable TV operator that serves subscribers primarily in the Northwest and Gulf States. Education revenues were up 40 percent in Q3 to $685 million, which makes up 60 percent of WaPo’s total revenue. CableOne posted a 4 percent increase in revenue during the quarter with $190 million, though operating income slipped 3 percent on higher expenses.