McClatchy reports first quarter loss, sees digital-only advertising gains – Sacramento Bee

Despite double-digit growth in digital-only advertising revenue, McClatchy today reported a net loss of $95.6 million, or $12.60 a share, in this year’s first quarter.

Sacramento-based McClatchy, publisher of The Sacramento Bee and 29 other newspapers, said that figure included an after-tax non-cash impairment of $76.8 million on the carrying value of the company’s interest in CareerBuilder LLC.

In the first quarter of 2016 McClatchy reported a net loss of $12.7 million, or $1.58 per share.

The company reported an adjusted net loss, which excludes severance and other items, of $14.5 million in the opening quarter, compared with a loss of $7.9 million in the first quarter of 2016.

“No question the headwinds that have affected our industry for the past several years continued in the first quarter, including several retailer bankruptcies driving the loss of 40,000 retailing jobs,” Craig Forman, McClatchy’s president and CEO, said in a statement accompanying this morning’s news release on quarterly financials. “But at McClatchy, we are executing on our plan to accelerate the pace and cadence of our digital transformation while aligning our cost structure with the realities of the business environment.”

Elaine Lintecum, McClatchy’s vice president of finance and CFO, noted that the company continues to expand digital-only audience and marketing efforts.

Total revenue in the first quarter of 2017 totaled $221.2 million, down 7 percent from last year’s opening quarter.

Total advertising revenue was $119.9 million, down 12 percent year over year. The company said that decline was linked to continued softness in print advertising.

Like other newspaper publishers, McClatchy has sustained a prolonged decline in print advertising revenue even as it puts more resources into digital products to capture a greater audience of online readers and advertisers.

The company said digital-only advertising revenue grew 11.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

The non-cash impairment charge related to the write-down on the carrying value of McClatchy’s equity investment in CareerBuilder totaled $123 million, or $76.8 million after-tax. The first-quarter impairment charge was based on McClatchy’s best estimate of fair value.


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