Statesman owner McClatchy posts quarterly loss

With print advertising continuing to decline and dragging down bottom-line revenue, The McClatchy Co., publisher of the Idaho Statesman, said it will keep ramping up digital initiatives and move away from its traditional print base.

The Sacramento-based company said it lost $11.3 million from continuing operations in the first three months of 2015. The loss of 13 cents a share compared with a loss of $16.1 million, or 19 cents a share, in the first quarter of 2014. Once one-time expenses were excluded, the net loss from continuing operations totaled $8.7 million, compared with $6.1 million in the same quarter of 2014.

Overall revenue in this year’s opening quarter was $257.1 million, down nearly 6.9 percent from $276.1 million in the year-ago period.

President and CEO Pat Talamantes said revenue was again affected by the continued decline in print retail and national advertising, particularly among large advertisers. He said national advertising revenue of $9.5 million in this year’s first quarter was down more than 25 percent from the initial quarter of 2014.

The company, which publishes 29 newspapers nationwide, continues to diversify away from its traditional print base, Talamantes said. Online advertising rose 4.4 percent in the first quarter compared with the same period of 2014, and circulation revenue climbed 4.8 percent. Revenue other than print advertising now makes up 67 percent of the company’s total revenue, compared with 63 percent in the first quarter of 2014, he said.

Talamantes said McClatchy is investing in programs he believes will pay off later: “To help offset advertising trends, we are undertaking a number of initiatives that involve incremental expense at the start of the projects, but which should be more than offset by cash flow benefits in the future.”