Newspaper ad slump weighs down Gannett in 4th quarter

Tue Feb 4, 2014 9:20am EST

Feb 4 (Reuters) - Gannett Co reported lower quarterly revenue and profit on Tuesday as advertising at its newspapers and broadcast television stations fell.

Total revenue decreased 6 percent to $1.37 billion in the fourth quarter. The result was in line with analysts' expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The quarterly revenue result strips out an extra week in the fourth quarter of 2012.

For the newspaper division, which publishes USA Today, revenue dropped almost 5 percent to $944.3 million as advertisers pulled back on spending, and circulation revenue growth stalled. Gannett rolled out a digital pay model last year that helped boost subscription revenue.

The company, which is diversifying away from print and has been investing heavily in broadcast TV, said revenue at its TV stations fell almost 16 percent to $228.2 million. During the 2012 fourth quarter, Gannett benefited from a windfall in political advertising.

Excluding special items and the extra week, net income fell to $152.5 million, or 66 cents per share, from $207.9 million, or 89 cents per share, in the same period last year.

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