Gannett’s profits slipped a bit due to the economic weakness, a sign of tougher times for newspaper publishers in general as the Q3 earnings season gets under way. In the meantime, the McLean, Va-based media company, is continuing to grow its digital revenues at a healthy pace. But the problem is, as Gannett (NYSE: GCI) veteran Gracia Martore settles into the CEO role permanently, is whether it can grow those digital businesses fast enough — and maintain profitability — to offset print declines.
Overall, publishing revenues dropped 5.3 percent, as circulation revenue slipped 1 percent. Considering how badly the economy is doing these days and the pressure to cut back on both advertisers and consumers, the numbers aren’t too terrible.
As usual, digital revenues represented a bright spot for the company’s earnings. Digital dollars were up 8 percent, which Gannett attributed to cross-platform sales and its partnership with Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). That alliance with Yahoo was recently extended from its local newspapers to its 19 TV stations.
Online revenues in U.S. Community Publishing and the UK’s Newsquest (in pounds) were up 8.5 percent and 6.2 percent, respectively.