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Miami Herald Parent Says Ad Downturn Will Continue

Herald owner McClatchy reported earnings this morning and the news was decidedly mixed. Profits rose on the sale of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune but the company issued a pretty dismal outlook and said it would take a write-down in the future due to financial problems. From the AP story:

The company's operating results continued to be hard-hit by the real estate downturn in California and Florida, where it owns several newspapers, and the company said the advertising picture for 2008 wasn't looking any better. McClatchy said it now expects first-quarter advertising to decline in the low double-digit percentage range.

McClatchy, the third-largest U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation, reported preliminary net income of $30.1 million for the final three months of the year, compared with a loss of $279.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

Wall Street actually dug the news, with the stock now trading about a point higher. The poor stock has probably been battered enough as it's going for a paltry $10.50 at the moment, down from highs a few years ago many times that. I think 2009 will bring a slight rebound for the industry, but it's going to be tough wading until then, economically speaking.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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