McClatchy revenue down 5.8% in first quarter – News & Observer

McClatchy reported a 5.8 percent decline in revenue in the first quarter as the newspaper publisher continued to be hurt by a drop in print advertising, particularly among large advertisers.

McClatchy, owner of The News & Observer, The Charlotte Observer and 27 other newspapers, had revenue of $264.4 million in the first quarter. Advertising revenue fell 12 percent to $158.5 million.

For the quarter, the Sacramento, Calif.-based company reported a net loss of $11.3 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with a loss of $16.1 million, or 19 cents per share during the first quarter of 2014.

“Our revenues in the first quarter were impacted by the continued decline in print retail and national advertising, particularly among large advertisers,” CEO Pat Talamantes said in a statement.

Like other newspaper publishers, McClatchy has been struggling to offset declining print revenues with revenue from its digital initiatives. Digital advertising revenue grew 4.8 percent in the first quarter, excluding the impact of the company’s sale of its stake in Apartments.com.

The company now gets 67.2 percent of its revenue from sources other than print newspaper advertising.

Talamantes said McClatchy is undertaking a number of initiatives designed to offset its print advertising declines, including expanding resources dedicated to video and digital sales and growing its impressLOCAL product that provides agency services to small- and medium-sized advertisers in its local markets.

The company is also reducing legacy costs “primarily in production and distribution, including substantial savings in newspaper costs.” McClatchy expects to save $25 million to $30 million from those cost-saving measures.

The company’s debt was $1.033 billion at the end of the first quarter.

McClatchy shares, which opened at $1.53, were up 4 cents in early trading Friday.

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Twitter: @brackendavid

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