Remember when the Washington Post (WPO) was a newspaper company? (Back in the days when it named itself The Washington Post Company?). Well, thankfully, it’s now an education and TV company. Thankfully because WaPo’s shriveling newspaper business is about to start losing money…
At 24/7 Wall St, analyst Doug McIntyre notes the diverging fortunes of the New York Times Company’s newspaper business (NYT), which is growing online revenue at a healthy rate and managing to preserve most of its operating income, and the Washington Post’s newspaper business, which is shedding revenue at a 7% rate and losing operating income at a horrific 50% (in Q3) to a puny $9 million. McIntyre analyses the two companies web properties, and attributes WaPo’s struggles to poor traffic growth.
With only $9 million of operating income–barely break-even–it will not be long before the Washington Post’s newspaper business plunges into the red. What will follow then, presumably, is what we eventually expect to see at most newspaper companies: major cost cutting (read: firings) and restructuring.
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