Posts Tagged ‘Gary Pruitt’

McClatchy lost $2M in first quarter

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

McClatchy Newspapers lost $1.96 million in the first quarter of the year on an 11 percent drop in advertising revenue, though indicators elsewhere are that the economy is getting better.

Media Jobs Daily reminds us that the publisher lost $2 million in the first quarter of 2010, too. And, as Rachel Kaufman writes: “Doesn’t look good.”

As the company’s slump deepens, the Associated Press says part of the problem is that seven of McClatchy’s newspapers are in California and Florida, two of the regions where the downturn in housing prices has been sharp. And, of course, the advertising shift from print to the Internet also continues to hurt.

The 1Q report actually shows that McClatchy’s digital ad revenues grew by  2.2 percent compared to the first of 2010, and were 20.1 percent of  the quarter’s total advertising revenues, up from 17.5 percent in the first three months of 2010.

Overall revenues for the quarter were $303.7 million, down 9.5 percent from 1Q 2010. Advertising revenues were $225.1 million, and circulation revenues were $66.2 million, falling 5 percent.

“The slowing in advertising revenue that we previously reported for January continued through the first quarter,” CEO Gary Pruitt explained. “National advertising continued to be one of the largest areas of decline, falling by 29.3 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to 2010. In addition, the shifting of the Easter holiday to a later date in April 2011 compared to 2010 had a negative impact on retail advertising in March. As a result, advertising in March was down 12.7 percent, pulling down the overall ad revenues in the quarter to an 11 percent decline.”

Here’s a good idea from Pruitt, who took home $3.71 million last year, including a $1.85 million bonus: “In response to this year’s weak start in advertising, we have increased our ad sales efforts companywide … .”

On the other hand, he also says much of the lost revenue is not coming back. “I would say that we need to recognize that a big piece of that [a structural shift to digital marketing] is structural and permanent, and therefore we need to make sure that our expense structure is reflecting that and is permanently reduced as well.”

McClatchy eliminated nearly 540 full-time jobs in the first quarter of 2011, a nearly 9 percent reduction from the same time last year, the Associated Press said. The company has also consolidated computer systems and printing among newspapers and hired contractors in place of staff.

Gary Pruitt lies to stockholders

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Gary Pruitt, at McClatchy’s shareholders meeting Wednesday, boasted of “McClatchy’s unwavering commitment to public service journalism” and vowed that the publishing company would continue to “provide relevant, high quality journalism.”

Anyone who reads a McClatchy newspaper knows the quality of the journalism has declined precipitously as the company has cut positions, and anyone who works for, or has worked for, McClatchy knows that its management is committed only to the bottom line — money.

Pruitt bases his claim of ongoing quality on national recognition of the work of three McClatchy papers: The Kansas City Star winning the Robert F. Kennedy Award, the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat winning the George Polk Award and the McClatchy Washington Bureau being named as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting. But this work, and other solid reporting at McClatchy newspapers, is the work of local journalists who remain dedicated to their profession, not McClatchy. Pruitt gloms onto their efforts while he has eliminated the jobs of about a third of their colleagues and makes plans to eliminate more.

Perhaps the job cuts were inevitable given the economy and the changes in the newspaper industry. But to maintain that they have not adversely affected the quality of the newspapers is simply a lie and an insult to those whose lives have been disrupted by these layoffs.

Pruitt is every bit as despicable as the CEOs of BP, Wall Street banks, Big Tobacco and other industries who care solely about profits and don’t give a thought about who they use or hurt along the way.

McClatchy’s Pruitt: online ad model working

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt said Tuesday that deriving online revenue from advertising is working just fine and there’s no reason to move toward paywalls, according to Editor & Publisher’s account of the speech.

Pruitt gave the keynote address at the Borrell Associates Local Online Advertising Conference in New York City.

Pruitt is also OK with aggregators like Google and Yahoo, because they send plenty of traffic — 20 percent, he said — to McClatchy newspapers’ sites.

In fact, McClatchy credits its success in building online revenue to its alignments with several different Internet players including Yahoo, Cars.com and CareerBuilder,” E&P says. “Pruitt told the Borrell conference that online revenue in 2009 accounted for 16 percent of total revenue — up from 11 percent in 2008.”

“We are very comfortable with free content supported by advertising,” Pruitt said. “We don’t view it as fatally flawed. That said, if we could make ad revenue with paid products we would.”