Newspaper Companies Have a Funny Idea of ‘Progress’

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Does it just keep getting worse for newspapers until they die? Or is there hope, or at least a temporary respite, in sight?


The biggest publicly traded newspaper companies in the U.S. reported earnings during the past couple of weeks, and the tone on the earnings calls was moderately upbeat. Executives at McClatchy, Tribune Publishing, News Corp. and the New York Times all made multiple mentions of the “progress” their companies had made recently. Nobody at Gannett went quite that far — understandable at a company where revenue dropped 4.5 percent from the same quarter a year before — but Chief Executive Officer Robert J. Dickey did say that it had been “a very solid third quarter, our first since becoming a standalone public company in terms of both operating performance and cash flows.”

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