McClatchy 2Q 2009 Online Results: Revenues Down 2.9% Because of Employment Advertising

Online highlights from McClatchy’s second quarter 2009 results unveiled yesterday:

“McClatchy continues its transition to a successful hybrid print and online company. Our digital audience continues to grow impressively. Average monthly unique visitors to our websites were up 30.1% in the second quarter following 26.7% growth in the first quarter of 2009. Still, the recession is impacting our digital business. Our digital advertising was down 2.9% in the second quarter of 2009, hurt particularly by declining employment advertising. Excluding employment advertising, which has declined nationally both in print and online, our online advertising revenue grew 24.7% in the second quarter of this year.

“Our digital performance has been aided by ownership stakes in CareerBuilder, Cars.com, and Apartments.com, leading companies in the digital classified advertising arena. And our growth in digital retail advertising of 50.7% in the first half of 2009 is fueled in part by our partnerships with Yahoo! and other technology companies.

“As we continue our successful migration to a multimedia company, we are less vulnerable to print declines and the secular shifts of advertising to digital media. Digital advertising represented 16.5% of total advertising in the second quarter, up from 11.8% in the second quarter of 2008. In June, digital advertising represented 17.3% of total advertising.

via McClatchy Reports Growth in Second Quarter 2009 Earnings – Yahoo! Finance.

What it means: McClatchy, the Sacramento newspaper publisher, reported better than expected profits even though ad revenues fell more than 30%. Cost-cutting measures (severe layoffs and salary reductions) contributed to the results. Interesting to see that online revenues are up a very good 24.7% if you exclude employment ads. Also interesting: 17.3% of their total revenues came from online in June.  McClatchy is the third-largest newspaper publisher in the US. They bought Knight-Ridder in 2006.

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