Thursday, October 15, 2009

A closer look at McClatchy's ad revenue collapse

The tumble in ad revenue McClatchy reported today is stunning. The revenue drop has been particularly bad in retail, classified, automotive, real estate, and employment.

Check out these ad revenue numbers:

Q3 2009 retail: $139.4 m (down 23.1%)
Q3 2008 retail: $181.4 m

Q3 2009 classified ads: $75.6 m (down 37.7%)
Q3 2008 classified ads: $121.4 m

Q3 2009 automotive: $22.0 m (down 34.0%)
Q3 2008 automotive: $33.4 m

Q3 2009 real estate: $17.2 m (down 42.9%)
Q3 2008 real estate: $30.1 m

Q3 2009 employment: $14.1 m (down 59.7%)
Q3 2008 employment: $35.0 m

Q3 2009 Total Advertising: $266.1 million (down 28.1%)
Q3 2008 Total Advertising: $370.1 million

I don't see anything on the horizon to stop the bleeding.

How much longer before the publishers start sending the "it's hard to say goodbye to long time friends and colleagues" emails?

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29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Those are scary revenue stats.

Anonymous said...

Can you say "trajectory"?

Anonymous said...

We are completing next years budget and my publisher seems to think that all the bleeding is over and done and wants to project flat for 2010. What wishful thinking.

Anonymous said...

I’m stunned at just how stupid liberal business people (an oxymoron)are!

Anonymous said...

I would like to start by saying goodbye
to my coworker Gary Pruitt.

Anonymous said...

What is worse is that Wall Street analysts are predicting that advertising revenue is going to continue to decline next year. It looks to me as if MNI is already perilously close to not making enough revenue to pay off its debt installment, so bankruptcy looms next year if what the analysts predict comes true.

John Altevogt said...

The Star came out to our real estate office touting the benefits of advertising with them online. They were particularly big on their banner ads until I asked if these wouldn't be eliminated by any browser using an ad blocker. No sale, it has become a matter of writ in our office that newspaper advertising does not work.

Anonymous said...

those letters will be out VERY soon, and if you don't think jobs will be cut by November --think again..the HR people have already started the huddles with upper management...last week.

Anonymous said...

employees who are left should be prepared to pay more for beneftis. It is sad that the people left will have to make up for all the downturn. Why doesn't McClatchy just make the employees pay them...

Anonymous said...

Please, please, PLEASE offer me a buyout, McClatchy!

And this time, when I apply for it, don't reject it and make me stay.

Anonymous said...

@ 12:13 -buyouts are only for special people, are you special?

Anonymous said...

All the special people have already left.

Anonymous said...

I guess you are right..we have just the knuckle heads left at our paper and the idiots in corporate don't count.

Anonymous said...

I applied for the new accountant job Gary. I can fix this. Call me! We'll have you into double digit growth by next quarter buddy.

Anonymous said...

Already hearing rumors of a November round of layoffs in FW. Hopefully just a rumor.

Anonymous said...

New accountant job? When did they post that? Who left?

Anonymous said...

Yep, @ corporate. Don't know if anyone left or they just wanted a different perspective....hehe

Anonymous said...

Is the number of rounds of layoffs/buyouts the same company wide? Or have some papers been given preferential treatment?

Anonymous said...

What they really need is a graduate of the Bernie Madoff School of Creative Accounting.

Anonymous said...

Revenue keeps tumbling while costs continue to rise.

This is not going to end well.

Anonymous said...

How much longer before the publishers start sending the "it's hard to say goodbye to long time friends and colleagues" emails?

Sooner than you think. Its funny how they are praising the price increases as a reason to not worry too much about the loss in ad revenue.

Today's earnings call:

Matthew [Sundin] – No Company Listed

Price increases on print editions, obviously you are doing it and everyone is doing it. It makes sense. Do you think there is a plateau? What signs and signals are you looking for from customers in terms of renewal rates? Secondly, are you getting pushed back and what happens when you are getting pushed back on rates? Are you letting customers who are good drop away? Are they getting extensions of existing rates that they say they are going to cancel otherwise? Do you have a sense there?

Gary Pruitt

Sure. It is a complex question. We have increased the circulation rates at virtually every newspaper. We did that in part to offset the advertising decline and reflective of higher costs in distribution. We think it was the right move to make. Circulation has become a larger piece of our revenue pie.

Yes shrink your product, raise the price and reduce delivery to your outlying areas.

Anonymous said...

What they really need is a graduate of the Bernie Madoff School of Creative Accounting.





Why do you think our Confrence call was listen only and only carefully selected, softball questions were allowed?

Bernie was a fool. Gary is too smart for that.

Anonymous said...

sorry folks they are still making money.. after the deadwood left. I love the way you leave that fact out

Anonymous said...

@6:16: The Deadwood left? Really? Because at my paper, anyway, it's mostly the deadwood that remained, holding a death grip onto their jobs and hoping they can make it a few more years to retirement before the whole ship goes down, because they know they couldn't find any sort of decent paying job anywhere else. The people talented enough to land new jobs in this recession, and those smart enough to realize it's time to go back to school or otherwise kickstart a new career in the post-newspaper age took the buyout money and ran.

I only wish I had done the same. Now I'm stuck at a paper where all of my co-workers are middle-age deadwood whose sole goal is to keep their heads down and avoid being the next layoff victim by sucking up to management.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 6:07 - Every earnings conference call I ever listened to (hundreds as a 20 years-plus biz reporter - until beat was eliminated...) was listen-only mode and only analysts could ask questions - never the press, so this isn't really any new stance. Doesn't mean McClatchy and Pruitt aren't trying to control and spin their story - just saying, this is nothing new.

Anonymous said...

- Every earnings conference call I ever listened to (hundreds as a 20 years-plus biz reporter.

McClatchy didn't start their "Listen Only" policy until last year and virtually all companies allow questions from other than hand picked analysts.

I don't know if you are a liar or just a bad reporter, but one way or another you are full of shit.

Anonymous said...

"McClatchy didn't start their "Listen Only" policy until last year and virtually all companies allow questions from other than hand picked analysts."
====

Clearly you're in the "keep telling a lie and it will become the truth" camp. McClatchy's calls have been listen-only for years. Search PR-Newswire and you'll find the truth.

Too lazy to do that? Let me help you out - http://prnwire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-10-2001/0001466423&EDATE=

THe link is to a 2001 release. If you can read, you'll see the phrase, "...will be accessible live to the media and general public via Internet webcast and through listen-only, dial-in conference lines."

You get that? LISTEN-ONLY in 2001. And yes, it's been that way every quarter since then.

So, please do us a favor, get your act together. Stick with facts.

As for other companies, they do the same thing. Use PR-Newswire to look at the facts.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
McClatchy Watch said...

11:27 deleted for violating the rules.