McClatchy Co., the nation’s third-largest newspaper publisher, said Friday total advertising revenue fell 5.8 percent in January and total revenue slipped 5.2 percent, compared with a year-ago period adjusted for newspapers purchased in the Knight Ridder acquisition and excluding the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.
‘We knew going into January that we faced one of the toughest periods for advertising revenue comparisons in the industry given our strong 5.2 percent growth in pro forma revenue in January 2006,’ said Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s chief financial officer. ‘Indeed, January is our toughest monthly comparison for the whole of 2007. So while we are disappointed with an ad revenue decline of 5.8 percent, we were not surprised by it.’
Retail advertising edged up 0.2 percent for the month, but national ads dropped 18.4 percent to $17.5 million from $21.4 million last year. The company also saw a 23.3 percent decline in automotive advertising and an 8.2 percent drop in real estate-related ad revenue.
McClatchy operates 31 daily newspapers and about 50 non-dailies, including The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee, Kansas City Star, the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram, Charlotte Observer, and the (Raleigh) News & Observer. McClatchy also owns and operates McClatchy Interactive, which provides Websites with content, publishing tools and software development; Real Cities, a national advertising network of local news Websites and 15 percent of online job site CareerBuilder.