The problems of the newspaper industry were on full display in EW Scripps' first quarter, as the publisher swung to a $221 million loss and its revenues dropped 20 percent to $205 million. The loss represented $4.12 per share. Thomson Reuters (NSDQ: TRIN) analysts estimated that the Cincinnati publisher and broadcaster would post a loss of just $0.13 per share, excluding items, on revenues of $202.3 million, AP reported.
Overall, the company, which shuttered the Rocky Mountain News in February after failing to find a buyer, said that it had been severely affected by the pullback in advertising due to the recession. Online ad revenue was down 26.5 percent to $7.3 million, which demonstrated the problems of tying ad sales to print up-sells. About 55 percent of Scripp's online advertising is tied to print. Conversely, revenue from pure-play advertisers who only bought ads on the company's newspaper websites rose 30 percent to $3.4 million.
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By David Kaplan