Post-Newsweek Reports 7% Dip in Revenue

Broadcast down, cable up at Washington Post Co.

The Washington Post Company reported $86.6 million in fourth quarter broadcasting revenue for its Post-Newsweek division, a 7% decline from the previous fourth quarter. Excluding political revenue, broadcasting was down 22% over the previous fourth quarter.

Yearly broadcasting revenue dropped 4%, to $325.1 million. Taking away political and Olympics-related revenue, Post-Newsweek's broadcast revenue was down 13% for the year.

Not figuring into earnings was WTVJ Miami, which Washington Post Co. had hoped to acquire from NBC. "The agreement was subject to approval by the FCC and required that the transaction close by the end of 2008," said Washington Post Co. in its earnings statement. "The regulatory approval process was not completed by the end of 2008; consequently, the agreement expired."

Washington Post Co. reported overall net income for the quarter of $18.8 million, way down from the previous year's $82.9 million fourth quarter haul. Overall revenue was up 3% in the quarter, thanks primarily to the company's education and cable divisions. Cable TV revenue was $184.1 million for the fourth quarter, up 11% from the previous fourth quarter. Post Co.'s total 2008 cable boost of 15% was due to "continued growth in the division's cable modem, telephone and digital revenues, as well as a rate increase in September 2007 for most high-speed data subscribers; a January 2008 basic video cable service rate increase at nearly all of its systems; and a rate increase in August 2008 for telephone subscribers."

Post-Newsweek is comprised of six stations, including WDIV Detroit.