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Most Gannett newspapers profitable, some significantly so

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by dog428, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. dog428

    dog428 Active Member

  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    I expected the fourth word of the thread title to be "suck."
     
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It would be interesting to see 2008 numbers and see what the margins are. If the profits are gone, I'd say Oh, crap. But if Gannett is still posting double-digit profit margins, I'd tell the board to go to hell.
     
  4. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    To be fair, those numbers are from last year, let's say that everyone is down, on average, 15 percent.
    Suddenly things don't look so good. Look at how many places are losing money now. Look how many have just fractions of a percentage in margin. Look how many are in singles digits.
    So now here's the fear factor, things get worse. Say drop five more percent. How many Gannett shops are losing money then?
    Lots. If my math is right, you have 29 places taking a loss and even more in single digits.
    At some point Gannett has to either go private or go bankrupt or some combination if things don't start getting better soon. But what if that doesn't happen? What if someone at Gannett thinks the newspaper industry has gone past the tipping point?
    My guess is that no one has said that outloud. They wouldn't be doing layoffs and consolidating its operations if they didn't think the business could be saved.


    Alexandria, La.: 5.56% margin
    Appleton, Wisc.: 17.47%
    Asbury Park, N.J.: 4.16%
    Asheville, N.C.: 8.49%
    Battle Creek, Mich.: LOSS
    Binghamton, N.Y.: 17.64%
    Brevard, Fla.: 9.68%
    Bridgewater, N.J.: LOSS
    Bucyrus, Ohio: LOSS
    Burlington, Vt.: 21.21%
    Central Wisconsin: 9.25%
    Cherry Hill, N.J.: LOSS
    Chillicothe, Ohio: 7.3%
    Cincinnati: LOSS
    Clarksville, Tenn.: 11.01%
    Coshocton, Ohio: LOSS
    Des Moines: 9.58%
    Detroit: negative LOSS, now minus 20
    East Brunswick, N.J.: 1.07%
    East Wisconsin: 14.75%
    Elmira, N.Y.: 4.2%
    Fond du Lac, Wisc.: LOSS
    Fort Collins, Colo.: 15.97%
    Fort Myers, Fla.: 14.99%
    Freemont, Ohio: LOSS
    Great Falls, Mont.: 6.18%
    Green Bay, Wisc.: 27.5%
    Greenville, S.C.: 12.29%
    Guam: 25.39%
    Hattiesburg, Miss.: 1.44%
    Honolulu: LOSS
    Indianapolis: 9.97%
    Iowa City, Iowa: 0.17%
    Ithaca, N.Y.: 1.01%
    Jackson, Miss.: 10.94%
    Jackson, Tenn.: 0.14%
    Lafayette, Ind.: 12.85%
    Lafayette, La.: 18.52%
    Lancaster, Ohio: 0.15%
    Lansing, Mich.: 8.22%
    Louisville: 4.33%
    Manitowoc, Wisc.: 6.12%
    Mansfield, Ohio: 16.39%
    Marion, Ohio: 11.04%
    Marshfield, Wisc.: 0.23%
    Monroe, La.: 0.09%
    Montgomery, Ala.:12.83%
    Morristown, N.J.: LOSS
    Mountain Home, Ark.: 5.25%
    Muncie, Ind.: 9.0%
    Nashville: 6.38%
    Newark, Ohio: 2.25%
    NNC Ohio: 7.09%
    Opelousas, La.: 18.06%
    Oshkosh, Wisc.: 31.15%
    Palm Springs, Calif.: 22.98%
    Pensacola, Fla.: 12.10%
    Phoenix: 10.43%
    Port Clinton, Ohio: LOSS
    Port Huron, Mich.: 2.58%
    Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: 12.84%
    Reno: 19.90%
    Richmond, Ind.: 3.17%
    Rochester, N.Y.: 13.48%
    St. Cloud, Minn.: 13.16%
    St. George, Utah: 14.91%
    Salem, Ore.: 17.95%
    Salinas, Calif.: LOSS
    Salisbury, Md.: 11.74%
    Sheboygan, Wisc.: 9.01%
    Shreveport, La.: 14.22%
    Sioux Falls, S.D.: 21.55%
    Springfield, Mo.: 22.50%
    Staunton, Va.: 10.56%
    Stevens Point, Wisc.: 4.81%
    Tallahassee: 10.55%
    Tucson-TNI: 13.26%
    Tulare, Calif.: 24.93%
    Vineland, N.J.: 4.15%
    Visalia, Calif.: 7.87%
    Wausau, Wis.: 17.11%
    Westchester, N.Y.: LOSS
    Wilmington, Del.: 10.08%
    Wisconsin RAPI: 4.92%
    Zanesville, Ohio: 8.08% margin
     
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Love the ad sales figures as they cut and hack even more...

    Note that many newspapers are tiny revenue-generators. Also, names below are those listed in the report; some Wisconsin and Ohio papers are grouped together. To get a sense of an individual paper's profit in dollars, multiply the margin against ad sales.

    * Alexandria, La.: 20.56% margin; $9.7 million in ad sales
    * Appleton, Wisc.: 32.47%; $22.2
    * Asbury Park, N.J.: 19.16%; $82.3
    * Asheville, N.C.: 23.49%; $20.6
    * Battle Creek, Mich.: 13.05%; $6.7
    * Binghamton, N.Y.: 32.64%; $18.1
    * Brevard, Fla.: 24.68%; $44.8
    * Bridgewater, N.J.: 10.04%; $13.3
    * Bucyrus, Ohio: 9.59%; $1.0
    * Burlington, Vt.: 36.21%; $21.3
    * Central Wisconsin: 24.25%; $16.2
    * Cherry Hill, N.J.: 9.83%; $40.7
    * Chillicothe, Ohio: 22.3%; $3.4
    * Cincinnati: 13.97%; $111.9
    * Clarksville, Tenn.: 26.01%; $8.9
    * Coshocton, Ohio: 4.67%; $0.9
    * Des Moines: 24.58%; $71.0
    * Detroit: negative 4.96%; $164.8
    * East Brunswick, N.J.: 16.07%; $19.6
    * East Wisconsin: 29.75%; $77.8
    * Elmira, N.Y.: 19.2%; $9.0
    * Fond du Lac, Wisc.: 8.02%; $3.0
    * Fort Collins, Colo.: 30.97%; $16.2
    * Fort Myers, Fla.: 29.99%; $66.3
    * Freemont, Ohio: 11.89%; $2.6
    * Great Falls, Mont.: 21.18%; $9.2
    * Green Bay, Wisc.: 42.5%; $25.0
    * Greenville, S.C.: 27.29%; $45.3
    * Guam: 40.39%; $11.2
    * Hattiesburg, Miss.: 16.44%; $7.3
    * Honolulu: 3.33%; $76.6
    * Indianapolis: 24.97%; $116.3
    * Iowa City, Iowa: 15.17%; $7.0
    * Ithaca, N.Y.: 16.01%; $5.8
    * Jackson, Miss.: 25.94%; $34.5
    * Jackson, Tenn.: 15.14%; $10.2
    * Lafayette, Ind.: 27.85%; $12.2
    * Lafayette, La.: 33.52%; $23.2
    * Lancaster, Ohio: 15.15%; $3.0
    * Lansing, Mich.: 23.22%; $26.7
    * Louisville: 19.33%; $78.5
    * Manitowoc, Wisc.: 21.12%; $4.7
    * Mansfield, Ohio: 31.39%; $8.3
    * Marion, Ohio: 26.04%; $3.0
    * Marshfield, Wisc.: 15.23%; $2.2
    * Monroe, La.: 15.09%; $10.6
    * Montgomery, Ala.: 27.83%; $22.1
    * Morristown, N.J.: 14.93%; $16.4
    * Mountain Home, Ark.: 20.25%; $3.1
    * Muncie, Ind.: 24.0%; $9.5
    * Nashville: 21.38%; $93.1
    * Newark, Ohio: 17.25%; $5.1
    * NNC Ohio: 22.09%; $37.0
    * Opelousas, La.: 33.0%; $2.6
    * Oshkosh, Wisc.: 31.15%; $6.8
    * Palm Springs, Calif.: 37.98%; $40.2
    * Pensacola, Fla.: 27.10%; $28.7
    * Phoenix: 25.43%; $319.2
    * Port Clinton, Ohio: 2.74%; $0.8
    * Port Huron, Mich.: 17.58%; $9.0
    * Poughkeepsie, N.Y.: 27.84%; $20.0
    * Reno: 34.90%; $42.8
    * Richmond, Ind.: 18.17%; $5.2
    * Rochester, N.Y.: 28.48%; $62.3
    * St. Cloud, Minn.: 28.16%; $17.2
    * St. George, Utah: 29.91%; $13.7
    * Salem, Ore.: 32.95%; $23.2
    * Salinas, Calif.: 7.44%; $8.2
    * Salisbury, Md.: 26.74%; $16.8
    * Sheboygan, Wisc.: 24.01%; $6.7
    * Shreveport, La.: 29.22%; $23.9
    * Sioux Falls, S.D.: 36.55%; $23.7
    * Springfield, Mo.: 37.50%; $28.8
    * Staunton, Va.: 25.56%; $5.4
    * Stevens Point, Wisc.: 19.81%; $2.4
    * Tallahassee: 25.55%; $24.3
    * Tucson-TNI: 28.26%; $67.7
    * Tulare, Calif.: 39.93%; $2.4
    * Vineland, N.J.: 19.15%; $7.1
    * Visalia, Calif.: 22.87%; $9.2
    * Wausau, Wis.: 32.11%; $8.7
    * Westchester, N.Y.: 14.84%; $79.1
    * Wilmington, Del.: 25.08%; $54.7
    * Wisconsin RAPI: 19.92%; $2.3
    * Zanesville, Ohio: 23.08% margin; $4.0 million in ad sales
     
  6. My paper, which used to be Gannett, was small but apparently profitable for its size. However, Gannett papers belonged to regional groups, and the bigger one in our group wasn't doing so hot. So the good money we brought in went to the bigger paper to keep that one up.
     
  7. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    The traditional theory of large franchise operations is to build up the strong units and sell off the losers. But the losers in newspaper world are often the "prestige" parts of the company (bigger papers) used on the business side as the fast track to corporate. They are also larger operations which can be cut more deeply to create the illusion of financial progress.
    So Gannett has it backwards. No surprise. I am convinced that the most pressing need in the industry is for there to be COMPETENT, NOT STUPID, scumbuckets at the top. If employees are going to be screwed over (a given since the first printing press), at least it should be by someone who knows what they're doing.
     
  8. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    A couple things to keep in mind about the figures:

    1. You expect lower profit margins at papers in competitive markets. They knew that going in. So, no shock to them that some have lower margins than others.

    2. The ad-sales figure isn't the total revenue. Small papers realize some profit from circulation -- a 28-page paper selling for 50 cents compared with a 56-pager selling for 50 cents in the nearby city. Also, I can't tell whether the ad-sales figures are just for the paper or that entire operation -- web, niche publications.
     
  9. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    My guess is that the drop from 2007 to 2008 in gross margins isn't as much as you might think because expense-slashing has been going on for over a year. If gross ad revenues are down 25% and expenses have simultaneously been slashed 15-20%, then the drop in gross margin is probably more along the lines of 8-10%. Not good, but not a horror story either.

    Question I have: what would be the terrible crime if Gannett were to announce to stockholders that they get no dividends this year? In a bad economy, that's just the way things go. Oh, so stockholders don't like it??!! Well, duh. Then to them, I say, Sell your Gannett stock if you don't like it and go buy some GM, AGI or Lehman Bros. stock instead. That'll show 'em, huh?
     
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    My Gannett rag isn't listed. WTF?
     
  11. Reacher

    Reacher Member

    2008 has been catastrophic for newspapers. And there's no end to the decline.

    Alan Mutter does a nice job following the industry on his site: http://www.newsosaur.blogspot.com/.
     
  12. StaggerLee

    StaggerLee Active Member

    I don't give a shit if profits are down 15% in 2008, that's still a TON of newspapers making a SHITLOAD of money for a greedy ass corporation.

    What I find funny is that earlier this year, our fucking publisher stood in front of us and told us point blank with a straight face that the newspapers in our immediate chain (IE our sister papers in our area) lost money in 2007. Looking at this list now, not only did our papers NOT lose money, they all had double-digit profit margins.

    Fuck those greedy bastards.
     
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