Online Advertising Is Not Immune -- Gannett

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by: David Jackson

Here's what newspaper company Gannett (NYSE:GCI) had to say about its online strategy and online advertising on its conference call:

Gannett can serve the digital world in ways no one else can. Today, an advertiser can come to Gannett and say I want to get my product in front of women ages 20 to 35 in small towns and large cities across the country. I want to create a national buzz but have a local connection that makes it easy for these customers to find me, and I don’t want to have to make hundreds of calls to get there. We can do that today. We have the content, lots of content. We have 60 local mom sites and a national version on the way. We have 104 local news websites. We have entertainment levers through Metro Mix and families who are organizing their kids sports through highschoolsports.net. We know who is going to these sites and we are getting better at these kinds of metrics every day.

...So on our results -- our total operating revenues were $1.72 billion for the second quarter, down approximately 10%. Total reported expenses declined about $91 million, or 6.3%. Operating cash flow totaled about $430 million for the quarter. As I am sure all of you are aware, the U.S. economy softened in the second quarter and continued the severe pressure on advertising demand. In the U.K., unfortunately the consumer-driven downturn in the U.K. that started in the first quarter accelerated in the second quarter as well.

...results for our digital operations were positive for the quarter, up almost 6%, although digital is not immune to the economic environment. Domestic publishing online revenues increased about 3% as double-digit growth in the auto and retail categories was offset by the real estate and employment categories. Broadcasting was up over 17% and Newsquest growth rate exceeded 25%. In June, our domestic websites had 23.1 million unique users and reached 14.1% of the Internet audience. In the U.K., Newsquest’s monthly online audience totaled 7.5 million unique visitors with over 95 million page impressions.

To sum up, the economy has severely dampened the demand for advertising and that could continue for some time...

The quotes are taken from the Gannett transcript which was published on Seeking Alpha a few hours after the call ended. You can find other transcripts from the media industry here.