McClatchy reported drops in circulation revenue and print ads in the fourth quarter of 2018. The company reported a $27.5 million loss for the quarter on revenue of $213 million, with the drops mentioned above and special charges contributing.
“McClatchy’s losses were deeper than at other public regional chains — off 26 percent year-to-year for the quarter or 22 percent factoring out an extra ‘fourteenth’ week in the 2017 period,” said Rick Edmonds at Poynter.
The Sacramento-based publisher of 30 papers has been pushing price boosts in its subscriptions, Edmonds reported. Volume was down by 8.6 percent daily and 7.6 percent Sunday, he reported.
Total revenues for 2018 were $807.2 million, down 10.7 percent compared to 2017, or 9.3 percent on a comparable 52-week year basis.
The company reported a 51.1 percent year-over-year increase in digital subscriptions, ending the year with 155,000 digital-only subscribers. Digital-only subscriptions have been up in 11 straight quarters.
Digital-only advertising revenues grew by 5.2 percent for the quarter. It surpassed print advertising revenue in the second half of 2018.
“In the context of a business environment that continues to be challenging for the local media industry, we made significant progress in our digital transformation while delivering on our mission of producing strong, independent local journalism in the public interest that is essential to the communities we serve,” McClatchy CEO Craig Forman said in a statement.