The Washington Post Company Reports First Quarter Earnings
For the first quarter of 2012, daily and Sunday circulation at the Post declined 9.8% and 5.2%, respectively, compared to the first quarter of 2011. For the first quarter of 2012, average daily circulation at the Post totaled 492,600, and average Sunday circulation totaled 714,600.
The newspaper division reported an operating loss of $22.6 million in the first quarter of 2012, compared to an operating loss of $12.8 million in the first quarter of 2011. These operating losses include noncash pension expense of $8.6 million and $6.7 million for the first quarter of 2012 and 2011, respectively. The decline in operating results is primarily due to the revenue reductions discussed above and $1.9 million in severance and early retirement expenses, offset partially by a reduction in other operating expenses. Newsprint expense was down 11% for the first quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter of 2011, due to a decline in newsprint consumption.
Revenue for the television broadcasting division increased 13% in the first quarter of 2012 to $81.5 million, from $72.2 million in 2011; operating income for the first quarter of 2012 increased 58% to $31.0 million, from $19.6 million in 2011. The increase in revenue and operating income reflects improved advertising demand across many product categories, including a $2.2 million increase in political advertising revenue. Expense reductions from various cost control initiatives also contributed to the improvement in operating results.Other Businesses Other businesses includes the operating results of Avenue100 Media Solutions, the Company’s digital marketing business that sources leads for academic institutions and recruiting organizations, and other small businesses. Corporate Office Corporate office includes the expenses of the Company’s corporate office as well as a net pension credit. Equity in Earnings of Affiliates, Net The Company holds a 49% interest in Bowater Mersey Paper Company, a 16.5% interest in Classified Ventures, LLC and interests in several other affiliates.
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