2009 has undoubtedly been a rough year for all manner of media companies, not the least of which is The McClatchy Co., which reported a 23.1 percent decline in revenues last quarter and has been struggling with layoffs and a wage freeze since September 2008.
But there is some hope. Yesterday, McClatchy chairman and CEO Gary Pruitt sent a memo to staffers letting them know the wage freeze was set to be lifted in the coming year, McClatchy paper The Sacramento Bee reported. What’s more, Pruitt was upbeat about his business while speaking this morning at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. Pruitt told the conference that all 30 of McClatchy’s newspapers are profitable and that the company “expects to maintain, if not grow, cash flow in 2010,” Editor & Publisher said.
And things do in fact seem promising for the publisher: in reporting its third quarter earnings in October, McClatchy revealed circulation revenues had actually grown 6.7 percent during the quarter to $69 million, although advertising revenues were, not surprisingly, down. Online revenues also saw growth during the third quarter, and now make up 17.6 percent of McClatchy’s total advertising revenues compared to 12.2 percent of total advertising revenues in the third quarter of last year, indicating the company’s move towards more digital integration of its content. McClatchy has also announced plans to distribute digital versions of its papers, including the SacBee, to e-readers like the Kindle sometime in the new year.
Looks like McClatchy might be one to watch in 2010.
McClatchy Co. will lift wage freeze —Sacramento Bee