Morris Publishing Group Reports Weak 2Q

By: E&P Staff Morris Publishing Group reported on Tuesday that operating revenue for 2Q was down 6.1% to $112.9 million compared to the same quarter a year ago. Advertising revenue fell 7.1% to $92 million. Circulation revenue slipped 1.6% to $17 million.

Operating expenses declined slightly 0.3% to $95.3 million. Labor costs increased 4.1% to $45.2 million. Newsprint and other related costs plunged 20.4% to $11.9 million.

"We continue to operate in a declining advertising environment, particularly in Jacksonville, our largest market," William S. Morris IV, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement. "The downturn in the Florida real estate market has adversely impacted not only our classified real estate category, but also many of our other advertising categories dependent on the housing industry.

"In response to these challenges, we are continuing to look at every aspect of our business, identifying and implementing initiatives to further reduce our cost of operations. In addition, we are reviewing additional revenue opportunities in each of our metro markets, focusing on achieving very specific targets to increase revenue."

Morris Publishing Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morris Communications.


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