BRAVE NEW WORLD: WaPo Online Revenue Up 14%, Print Down 6%

Washington Post

The Washington Post Company’s 2010 earnings announcement today contains no surprises:

Online’s doing fine; print is tanking.

Overall, the company’s newspaper division reported an operating loss of $9.8 million in 2010 — which is a vast improvement over the $163.5 million operating loss in 2009.

Print revenue declines came from reductions in general, classified, and retail advertising as the newspaper experienced a drop in both daily and Sunday circulation and closed down a printing plant in July 2009. 

In its digital department, revenue from and Slate increased 14% to $113.0 million, mostly from an 18% growth in display online advertising revenue and a smaller growth in online classified.

Advertising was also king in WaPo’s television broadcasting division — the company owns six local TV stations — which reported a 72% increase in operating income for 2010 due to advertising demand in all markets and most product categories, particularly automotive. 

Meanwhile, in a nod to the power of aggregation, the company is now trying out Trove, which will collect and personalise news from 10,000 sources. WaPo, along with Gannett and the New York Times Company, is also backing a subscription-based aggregator, Ongo.

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