Gannett reported television revenues of $148.4 million for the second quarter, a drop of 19.7% from the previous year's second quarter. Broadcasting revenues, including Gannett's Captivate network, which airs in elevators, were $153 million for the quarter, well down from the $192.6 million posted a year ago.
Retransmission consent fees were a bright spot, their $14.3 million in the quarter a three-fold increase over last year's Q2.
Gannett's digital affairs showed a big gain. Digital operating revenues totaled $142.4 million in the quarter, compared with $20 million in 2008, reflecting primarily the consolidation of CareerBuilder and ShopLocal.
Gannett said a bigger slide is expected for the third quarter, due to the absence of political and Olympic ad revenue. "Based on current trends, we would expect the percentage decline in television revenues to be in the mid-twenties for the third quarter of 2009 compared to the third quarter of 2008," the company said in its earnings statement.
Gannett's publishing segment operating revenues were $1.1 billion for the quarter, a 25.8% decline from the same quarter a year ago.
Executive VP/Chief Financial Officer Gracia Martore said the company is well positioned for the economy's eventual recovery. "The economic headwinds, which continued to constrain advertising demand, masked several important achievements in the quarter. In our digital segment, pro forma operating profits rose almost 84%," said Martore. "Total digital revenues across all of our segments were over $225 million. Retransmission revenues in our broadcasting segment rose three-fold partially offsetting weak auto advertising demand and lower political spending."
Gannett owns 23 stations and hundreds of newspapers, including USA Today.