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TOUGH TIMES IN D.C.: The Washington Post Co. released its second-quarter results Friday and at this point in the earnings season, it will come as no surprise that ad revenue was down sharply at The Washington Post and Newsweek. Print ad revenue at the Post dropped 22 percent to $99.8 million, primarily because of a large decline in classified ad revenue and reductions in retail and general ads. Magazine ad revenue declined 21 percent from fewer ad pages at the domestic edition and lower rates from a rate base reduction to 2.6 million from 3.1 million.
Overall newspaper publishing revenue was down 13 percent to $197.3 million and the company noted that 231 newspaper employees have accepted the voluntary retirement program, at an expense of $79.8 million. Due to the early retirement expense, the division reported an operating loss of $96.7 million during the second quarter, versus operating income of $17.8 million the prior year. Meanwhile, revenue at the magazine division dropped 15 percent to $62.7 million. Approximately 117 employees there accepted the early retirement offer, which came at an expense of $29.2 million. The magazine division also had an operating loss, of $3.7 million.
The company reported a net loss of $2.7 million for the quarter, compared with net income of $68.8 million for the same period last year. Thanks to revenue growth at the education and cable TV divisions, though, revenue for the company was up 6 percent to $1.1 billion.
— Amy Wicks