McClatchy Co (MNI.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said its current results are "lousy" and the economy appeared to be worsening, but the U.S. newspaper publisher aims to narrow revenue declines and further streamline operations in 2009.Hat tip: Romenesko
Chief Executive Gary Pruitt said in a statement ahead of a UBS media conference on Tuesday that McClatchy would work to boost revenue from Internet advertising, permanently reduce its cost structure and pay down more debt.
"We are all aware of just how difficult this year has been for the newspaper industry," Pruitt said.
"We recognize that part of our advertising decline is permanent -- reflecting the secular shift to the Internet. Another part is temporary -- reflecting the cyclical nature of our business in a recession," he said in his statement.
McClatchy, which owns The Miami Herald, Sacramento Bee and Anchorage Daily News among its media properties, has been under pressure to cut costs as it must meet heavy debt payments from its purchase of newspaper chain Knight Ridder Inc in 2006.
The company had $2.07 billion in debt as of Sept. 30, having paid down about $404 million in debt principal in the first nine months of the year.
"We have made further progress in paying down debt in the fourth quarter and expect to do so again next year." Pruitt said in the statement before his presentation.
He gave no specifics on how McClatchy would streamline operations next year. The New York Times reported over the weekend that McClatchy has approached potential buyers about selling the Miami Herald.
UPDATE: A Baghdad Bob comparison. (Hat tip: comments)