WaPo Newspaper Division Posts $22.6 Million Loss

The newspaper division of the Washington Post Company recorded a loss of $22.6 million for the first quarter of 2012, compared to $12.8 million a year prior.

That’s on revenues of $142 million, down 8 percent from $155 million, largely “due to reductions in general, classified and preprint advertising,” the company said. Online revenue from washingtonpost.com and Slate.com fell 7 percent to $24.2 million. That means digital now makes up 17 percent of the company’s revenues.

The loss comes from the decline in revenue, the company said, as well as an $8.6 million pension expense and nearly $2 million in early retirement expenses. Newsprint, however, cost the company 11 percent less, as it was using 11 percent less of it.

The company as a whole, which also owns Kaplan, a test-prep and education company, is still profitable: the company reported an overall profit of $31 million, but $20 million of that is from a branch of Kaplan that the company sold earlier this year. And revenues at Kaplan were down 11 percent to $553 million.

It doesn’t look good for Washington’s paper of record, but a couple of recent strategic hires may help turn the paper around.