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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Washington Post Co. reports first-quarter profit of $45.4 million

The Washington Post Co. reported a first-quarter 2010 profit of $45.4 million ($4.91 per share) compared with a net loss of $19.2 million ($2.04) in the first quarter of 2009.

First-quarter revenue was $1.17 billion, up 11 percent from the same period last year, when revenue was $1.05 billion.

The revenue increase came from gains in The Post Co.'s Kaplan education division, its CableOne cable company and its six television stations, which offset losses at its newspaper and magazine divisions.

Kaplan reported a 20 percent gain in first-quarter revenue to $711.4 million, compared with the first quarter of 2009. Kaplan's first-quarter operating income surged to $57.9 million, compared with $11.1 million in the first quarter of 2009.

The Post Co.'s newspaper division, which is dominated by the flagship newspaper, lost $13.8 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared with a loss of $53.8 million in the same period last year. This comes after a fourth quarter of 2009 when the newspaper moved into the black on the strength of cost cutting and holiday ad spending.

Print advertising at The Post dropped 8 percent in the first quarter to $68.7 million, but online advertising -- primarily at Washingtonpost.com and the Slate properties -- rose 8 percent in the quarter to $23.7 million.

First-quarter daily circulation of The Post dropped 12.5 percent and Sunday circulation dropped 10.4 percent.

The Post Co. announced earlier this week that it is putting its money-losing Newsweek magazine up for sale. The magazine division -- of which Newsweek is the largest part -- narrowed its first-quarter loss to $2.3 million, compared with a loss of $20.3 million in the first quarter of 2009.

The Post Co.'s six television stations were helped by a surge in Olympics advertising revenue, especially at the NBC affiliates. First-quarter revenue at the stations rose 20 percent to $73.5 million.

At CableOne, a small cable system with customers primarily in the Gulf States and the Northwest U.S., revenue was up first-quarter revenue was up 3 percent to $189.4 million.

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By Frank Ahrens  |  May 7, 2010; 9:28 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Advertising, CableOne, Newspaper, Newsweek, Post Co, Washington Post, Washington Post Co, Washington Post Company  
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Comments

Seems like they can afford to hold onto Newsweek for another year at least.

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 7, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

The dollars are flooding in now and the economy sucks. Your marketing plan must be as good as original sin. Newsweek is a real ball and chain operation. Blitz through a puzzle and publish weekly crosswords. That should keep somebody busy. Newsweek needs more puzzles and less pundits. I'd do some word searches and cryptograms. Code and decode. You might even recode a profit. Don't make them too easy, for it should take a week. Some things take longer than others. I'll take the thing off your hands. It'll cost you. Everything costs something.

Posted by: tossnokia | May 7, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

We can design puzzles in the evenings and they can spend the week solving them. It'll be fun, we'll make billions and billions. Newsweek, oh we're going to bigger than General Motors and with more treasury. You have that puzzled expression again. What's wrong? I'm going to work a puzzle. have a nice day dears.

Posted by: tossnokia | May 7, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Well this is extremely bad news.......

America would be much better off if this propaganda outlet for the Democrat Party was out of business.

The POST and the Dems have really divided America since the installation/election of Obama in November 2008.........

Posted by: allenridge | May 7, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Random graphics question: shouldn't the arrows accompanying the "Economy Watch" header be tweaked to reflect whether a particular increase or decrease is a good or bad thing? It's a little confusing to see a green arrow showing an upward movement in unemployment, and a red arrow showing drops in 30-year mortgage rates. Isn't the former actually a bad thing, and the latter a good thing?

Posted by: zippyspeed | May 7, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

From the story: "First-quarter daily circulation of The Post dropped 12.5 percent and Sunday circulation dropped 10.4 percent."

For circulation to keep plummeting as the economy turns up pretty much puts the writing on the wall for the newspaper. Once a former reader realizes that he can get along just fine without the paper on his doorstep (or in his shrubbery), he'll never subscribe again. When Newsweek is unloaded watch for the Post to follow.

Posted by: none12 | May 7, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The revenue increase came from gains in The Post Co.'s Kaplan education division

There's a good reason for Jo-Ann's anti-teacher and proRhee editorials.

Posted by: edlharris | May 7, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

WAPO has one of the best web site home pages of any news/newspapers.

Posted by: kkrimmer | May 7, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Go Warren B!

Posted by: ozpunk | May 7, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

You're right, allenridge, but thank goodness we have folks like you, working hard to bridge the divide with rationality and a willingness to be open-minded to others' points of view.

Posted by: unclewalt | May 7, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: itkonlyyou48 | May 7, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

You can hire back the editors now.

Posted by: sarahabc | May 7, 2010 11:49 PM | Report abuse

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