Earnings Call: McClatchy's Pruitt: It's The Economy; Yet Online Real Estate Ads Grew 15 Percent

This story was written by David Kaplan.
[In progress] Following another dismal earnings report, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) CEO and Chairman Gary Pruitt began by essentially pinning the company's troubles on the economic recession. For example, Pruitt emphasized print job revenues were down 57 percent while online help wanteds were down 39 percent. Still, the results weren't all dark for classifieds, at least online. While real estate was again down in double digitsno surprise considering the collapse of the housing marketonline real estate ads managed to grow 15.3 percent in Q4.
Pruitt: "Our focus on becoming a hybrid print/online company has been in place for some time and we're seeing some good results. Average monthly uniques were up 25 percent in Q4 and up 33 percent for the full year. Online advertising remains the fastest growing segment of our business." Also, picking up on the recent controversies over executive compensation, Pruitt noted that McClatchy will suspend executives bonuses as part of a wider $300 million savings initiative. More to come

By David Kaplan