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In a preview of next month’s Q4 earnings report, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) said that it has been able to reduce the advertising declines of the past few years, while growing the portion the online contributes steadily, if slowly. The numbers were a little behind the industry as a whole, though there was one tiny positive surprise: classified ads have been improving, with help wanteds actually rising 2.1 percent for the past seven months — not that those numbers could have gotten much lower. (And as Newsosaur’s Alan D. Mutter pointed out to me in an e-mail, McClatchy’s gain in recruitment dollars is actually less than half of the total newspaper industry’s aggregate 5 percent rise in job ads.)
While the publisher of The Sacramento Bee didn’t break out digital revenues, Gary Pruitt, McClatchy’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement that online dollars now make up 18.2 percent — last year, digital comprised 15.8 percent of sales; the year before it was 10.8 percent. In Q409, online revenues rose 14.9 percent as the industry began climbing out of the advertising recession.
Given Year-to-date advertising revenues through November 2010 were down 8 percent, as ads fell 6.4 percent in Q3. Total revenues for October and November 2010 combined were down 5.1 percent. In comparison, yesterday, the NYTCo (NYSE: NYT) said print would slip 4 percent in Q4, while online ads would be up 10 percent.Release