Tribune Co. Revenues Down 0.9% In August, But Newspaper Ad Revenues Up Slightly

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By: E&P Staff

Tribune Company said its consolidated revenues declined 0.9% to $428 million for its period 8, ended Aug. 28, compared to the same period in 2004.

August revenues from its publishing properties were $298 million, 1.9% lower than last year’s period. Advertising revenues increased 0.6% to $234 million, compared to August 2004.

Total advertising inches were down 4.5%, while preprint pieces increased 0.9%. Tribune said that if results from Newsday were excluded, its ad revenues were up 0.9%. Because of the circulation overstatement scandal, Newsday lowered its ad rates last September.

Tribune said retail advertising revenues decreased 0.9% as declines in the food & drug store, electronics, department store and furniture/home furnishing categories were partially offset by increases in the hardware/home improvement store, education and restaurant categories.

Preprint revenues, which Tribune mostly includes in the retail revenues category, were up 3%.

National continued to be a problematic ad category, with revenues down 5.5%. Declines in the technology, movie, transportation, and auto categories were partially offset by growth in the financial, package goods, and media categories, Tribune said.

Classified advertising revenues were up 5.9% on robust growth in help wanted, which was up 14% in August, and real estate, which jumped 12%.

Auto classified continued to be soft, declining 4% from August 2004.

Interactive revenues, mostly counted in classified, were up 43% to $15 million. Tribune said interactive was strong in all ad categories.

Circulation revenues were down 8.6%. Tribune said the decrease “was primarily due to volume declines at each of the company’s newspapers as well as selectively higher discounting.”

Broadcasting and entertainment group revenues in August increased 1.5% to $131 million, with television revenues down 3.5%. TV ad revenue remains soft in most markets.

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