Tribune Co. Revenue, Circulation, Take Big Hit

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By: E&P Staff

Tribune Company today reported its summary of revenues and newspaper advertising volume for January (ending February 4). It said consolidated revenues for the period were $442 million, down 5.0% from last year’s $465 million, due to a slide in publishing revenues.

The company said that for its publishing division, total revenue fell 6% to $345 million. Advertising revenue plummeted 7.3% to $268 million.

The decrease in revenue was attributed to difficult comparisons to January 2005 and the additional week at the end of 2006. The company indicated that February results should trend better than January results.

Circulation revenues were down 5.2% due to single copy declines and continued selective discounting in home delivery, Tribune said.

Interactive revenue, which is mostly included in classified, was up 17% to $20 million.

Broadcasting revenue slipped 1.4% to $97 million.

“This year’s period 1 reflects difficult comparisons to 2006 in several key publishing categories,” the company stated. The company indicated that period 2 ad revenue trends are better than period 1 in both publishing and broadcasting, particularly retail revenue in publishing.

The company’s release continued as follows.

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Publishing revenues in January were $345 million compared with $367 million last year, down 6.0 percent. Advertising revenues decreased 7.3 percent to $268 million, compared with $289 million in January 2006.

–Retail advertising revenues decreased 5.6 percent due to overall retail softness following the holiday season. Weakness in department stores and furniture/home furnishings was partially offset by strength in health care. Preprint revenues, which are principally included in retail, were down 4 percent.

— National advertising revenues declined 3.2 percent; weakness in the auto category was partially offset by strength in movies.

— Classified advertising revenues decreased 11.9 percent. Real estate fell 9 percent, help wanted declined 11 percent and automotive decreased 22 percent. Interactive revenues, which are primarily included in classified, were $20 million, up 17 percent, due to growth in all categories.

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