Earnings: St. Louis Post Dispatch Owner Reports $24 Million Loss

st louis post dispatch.gifThe company that publishes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and 48 other daily newspapers reported a Q3 loss of $24 million, mostly thanks to a massive drop in (you guessed it) advertising, with ad revenue falling 18.4 percent overall and dropping as much as 60 percent in certain classified categories.

National advertising and ads in “niche publications” fell the least sharply, and under classifieds, revenue from the “other” category actually gained 5.5 percent. We’re not sure what these are but we’ll leave it to your imagination.

The company, which had revenues of $1.02 billion last year, owes $1.18 billion to various creditors as of June 28, 2009. It did, however, reduce its costs through the usual layoffs and outsourcing; slighly more interesting is that a company-wide shrinkage of the physical papers Lee prints contributed to a 41.4 percent reduction in its costs for newsprint and ink, despite the fact that the cost of paper is increasing.