If any good news came out of August for the country’s third-largest newspaper company, McClatchy, it was that management has finally stopped arguing that the company’s problems are just “cyclical” (at least they were smart enough not to make this argument in the press release).
How bad was August for McClatchy? Even online revenue declined. Most of the country’s battered newspaper companies can at least try to hide behind strong year-over-year gains (off small bases) in online revenue, while reporting that their main businesses continue to crater. McClatchy can’t even do that: online revenue dropped 3% in August, down from an 8% gain in July. Ad revenue was horrible (-9%), circulation revenue was horrible (-3%), and classified revenue fell off a cliff (-17%). Details in this spreadsheet. The only folks who will cheer these numbers are McClatchy’s beleaguered competitors.
At “Reflections of a Newsosaur,” Alan Mutter investigates why McClatchy’s online sales tanked when they are surging for the rest of the newspaper industry. His conclusion? McClatchy doesn’t know. (Not a good sign)
Don’t Miss: Newspaper Crash: A Guide to Every Gory Detail