E.W. Scripps Co.announced last week that while its consolidated revenues increased by 19% from $183 million in the second quarter of 2011 to $217 million, the company’s newspaper division has seen a 4.7% decline in revenue from a year ago to $97 million.
The decline was seen on both the print and digital side. In print, the advertising decline (7.2%) outstripped circulation decline (3.7%), which is both disconcerting and heartening (i.e., people are not fleeing print newspaper as fast as rumor has it, but advertisers can’t seem to see that).
The digital side saw less of decline from the year earlier, down only 3.3% to $6.5 million. However, mobile products saw an 8% increase in mobile page viewing. I interpret this as good news — mobile and tablet editions of newspapers are likely to revive the industry, as well as consumer subscriptions, since people are willing to pay for the convenience of on-the-go viewing.
However, 8% growth is pretty weak. The company stated that it was looking to eliminate “the sale of certain low-margin digital products.” Hopefully this means they will focus on creating more robust, high-margin digital products in their stead that can grow more aggressively.