Earnings Call: McClatchy: Q3 Revs Brought Down By Real Estate And Autos

This story was written by David Kaplan.
[In progress] The real estate downturn has had wider effect on The McClatchy Company's (NYSE: MNI) ad revenues apart from just lower classified revenues. As chairman and CEO Gary Pruitt explained at the start of the company's Q3 conference call, anything related to purchases for the home, such as furniture and department stores, all pulled back on advertising. Nothing that the ad market remains weak, Pruitt ticked off the print declines and the online revenue growthwith employment ads being a particular exception.

-- Retail was down 12.6 percent, while online, the category grew 89 percent.
--Classifieds were down 30.1 percent. Employment ads fell 40.8 percent, while online revs were down 29 percent.
-- Autos were down 21 percent, online was up 28.7 percent, as dealers shifted spending. During the Q&A, Wachovia analyst John Janedis asked for some specifics about dealership closings. Pruitt said the fall has been gradual, but not precipitous. "We do expect our Cars.com to continue to take advantage of the shift from print to online."
-- Real estate dropped 36.5 percent; online gained 18.3 percent
-- National ads fell 18 percent. Pruitt said online was up, but didn't offer specifics.

-- Moving away from print upsells: Pruitt: "We have been focused on becoming a hybrid digital and print company for some time. We are building out online ad sales in their own right, as 52 percent of internet ads were not tied to print upsells and were sold directly. Online advertising continues to remain the fastest growing part of our business." More after the jump

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-- Any asset sales planned? It's a tough market to sell newspapers, but Pruitt said "We like our portfolio and we think we're operating in the right places in the right way. We don't comment or speak about potential asset sales of any kind, as we feel it sparks speculation. But we constantly evaluate our assets in good times and in bad times." More to come

By David Kaplan