Q2 Newspaper Revenue Turns Positive at Washington Post Co.

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Newspaper publishing revenue increased 2% at The Washington Post Co. in the second quarter of the year despite the continued decline in print advertising  revenue, the education and media company reported Friday.

Newspaper publishing division revenue totaled $172.7 million for the quarter, although print advertising revenue at the flagship Washington Post fell 6% to $75.2 million. Print revenue was off on declines in retail and classified advertising, the Post Co. said.

Online newspaper revenue, primarily from washingtonpost.com and Slate,  jumped 4% to $26.9 million in the quarter. Display online advertising revenue grew 20%, while online classified advertising revenue on washingtonpost.com increased 5%.

The newspaper division reported an operating loss of $14.3 million in the second quarter of 2010, compared to an operating loss of $89.3 million in the second quarter of 2009.

The Washington Post recorded a $17.7 million charge in the quarter for the liability of withdrawing from multiemployer pension plans. Washington Post results also included a $56.8 million early retirement program expense that had an after-tax impact of $3.77 a share.

Overall, the Post Co. reported a big jump in Q2 profits to $91.9 million, or $10.00 per share, from $12.2 million, or $1.30 per share, for the year-ago period.

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