Two earnings reports out today demonstrate the momentum some newspaper companies are building in the web advertising business. And one CEO, McClatchy's Gary Pruitt, offered in his company's statement a concise, congent view on the positioning of a traditional newspaper publisher making a strategic transition to retain local market dominance.
Pruitt, the McClatchy chairman and CEO, said:
"Some may see the current slow advertising environment as confirmation of predictions that newspapers and print media are dying. We think that's wrong. While there is certainly more competition for advertising in all media, McClatchy continues to gain share over other traditional media in our local markets, and online advertising is growing strongly -- up 30.1% in the first quarter. Our portfolio strategy -- combining the daily newspaper with leading websites, niche publications and direct marketing products -- provides the best reach and results for local advertisers. This approach makes us the leading local media company in many of the best, fastest growing markets in the country and provides a solid foundation for our future."
While Journal Register Co.'s earnings report, also out today, contained no
such similar statement, the numbers speak powerfully on their own:
"The Company continued to post strong gains in online revenues in the first quarter of 2006. Online revenues were $3.3 million for thequarter, reflecting an increase of 30.6 percent, on a pro forma basis,as compared to the first quarter of 2005. The Company's Web sites generated 89.7 million page views during the first quarter, an increase of approximately 75 percent as compared to the prior yearquarter. In March, the Company also reported 3.7 million unique visitors to its Web sites, including over one million visitors to the Company's JobsInTheUS Web sites. The Company's onlinebusinesscontinued to produce substantial operating profits in the first quarter. President and Chief Operating Officer Jean B. Clifton noted, "We are very pleased with the continued growth in our online business.JobsInTheUS is off to a great start and is a key part of our online strategy. We expect growth to accelerate at JobsInTheUS as we launch additional web sites, the first of which are JobsInCT.com andJobsInNewYork.com."