Circulation rises, yet Gannett sees flat revenue

The McLean, Virginia, headquarters of Gannett
Jay Mallin | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The McLean, Virginia, headquarters of Gannett

Gannett reported higher broadcast and digital revenue on Monday, but it could not push total revenue higher because of declines in newspaper advertising.

After the earnings announcement, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S. saw its shares fall in pre-market trading. (Click here to get the latest quotes for Gannett.)

The company said that total revenue was flat at $1.3 billion for the second quarter, compared with analysts' expectations of about $1.33 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

The largest newspaper chain in the United States is pushing more heavily into broadcast in an effort to diversify its revenue stream. Indeed, Gannett last month said it will nearly double its broadcasting holdings when it acquires Belo Corp .

That is because advertising revenue at newspapers, which has suffered numerous quarters of declines, shows no signs of improvement.

The publisher of USA Today and 81 other newspapers in the United States said that total revenue for that division fell almost 2 percent to $904.2 million on a 5 percent decline in advertising sales.

Even its efforts to roll out digital subscriptions across its U.S. newspapers could not offset the declines in advertising. Circulation revenue rose 11.4 percent at its U.S. newspapers.

Broadcasting revenue, which currently represents less than 20 percent of total revenue, increased 3.2 percent to $212 million for the quarter.

Gannett authorized a new share buyback program of $300 million, expected to be used over the next two years.

Excluding special items, earnings per share were 58 cents in line with analysts expectations.