Journal Register Revenues Fall 4.6% In January

By: E&P Staff

Journal Register Co. said Thursday that total revenues in its January reporting period fell 4.6% to $40.7 million, dragged by continued softness in advertising, especially automotive classified that plunged 29.7%.

Yardley, Pa.-based Journal Register said revenues for the five-week period ended Feb. 4, 2007 decreased 3.2% compared to the five-week period ended Jan. 29, 2006 excluding results from its troubled Michigan cluster of newspapers, which have been particularly hard hit by turmoil in the auto industry.

Total advertising revenues from continuing operations for the period decreased 6.8% to $30.2 million from $32.4 million in the year-ago period. Excluding the Michigan cluster, advertising revenues decreased 4.9%.

In a statement, Chairman and CEO Robert M. Jelenic said that “although advertising revenues remained soft in Period One, we were encouraged that our Michigan cluster had its best performance in trend, excluding 2006 Super Bowl revenues, since Period Three of 2006.”

He noted that by the end of this month, all 22 of the chain’s dailies will be selling Yahoo!HotJobs recruitment advertising, “which will add incremental revenues to our strong online employment trends.”

Retail advertising revenues were down 4.1% in January on softness in department store and financial/insurance categories that was partially offset by strength in medical/healthcare and services categories, the company said.

Classified ad revenues were down 6.4% compared to a year ago, or down 2.4% excluding the Michigan papers. Employment classified increased 5.2% overall or 8.4% excluding Michigan.

Overall real estate classified revenues were down 3.5%. Excluding the Michigan cluster, real estate was up slightly over last year.

Classified auto advertising revenues were down 29.7%, impacted, the company said, by a tough comparison with the 2006 period which included the week between Christmas and New Year’s, usually a strong week for auto classified.

National advertising revenues, which represent less than 5% of total advertising revenues, decreased 33.5%, mostly on softness the telecommunications category.

Circulation revenues for the period were up 0.6%.

Online ad revenues increased 26.0% to $1.4 million, with revenues from the recruitment site JobsInTheUS up 56.2%. The company’s Web sites had 4.6 million unique visitors generating 38.0 million page views in the period, which Journal Register said were both record numbers.

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