The big picture: MSLO’s Q3 revenues were relatively flat year-over-year. They came in at $66.5 million, down 0.2 percent from $66.9 in Q307 (excluding revenue from Blueprint, the home decor magazine the company shuttered late last year) — pulled and pushed by tanking print sales and strong online growth.
– Internet revs rise; new investment: Online revenues came in at $3 million in Q3, up 36 percent from $2.2 million in Q307 — growth that was driven largely by an influx of ad revenue. Online ad revs were up 35 percent year-over-year, with pageviews up 57 percent across the entire network. MSLO’s internet gains are especially notable given the overall online ad slowdown. In Q307, MSLO’s online revs climbed 17.9 percent. Not too many companies are seeing even that kind of double digit growth, though MSLO had begun a slow rebuild last year, including a major website revamp. Wenda Harris Millard, MSLO’s co-CEO and president of Media, noted that investments in properties like wedding planning site WeddingWire.com were paying off, and announced a new deal to acquire an equity stake in events planning company and Website Pingg.
– Pingg stake: Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, MSLO believes that Pingg.com’s premise is a good fit for MSLO’s target audience: the site lets members create themed pages, invitations and thank you notes for special events. Pingg operates on a hybrid ad sales/paid services model, and will turn its national ad sales over to MSLO. The events planning tools will also be featured on MarthaStewart.com. More to come.
Wenda Harris Millard, co-CEO and president of media, will be speaking tomorrow at our EconWomen conference in NYC.
– Sagging publishing revenues : Q308 publishing revenues came in at $34.5 million, down 25 percent from $46.2 million in Q307. Print ad revenue dropped by 18 percent, a stark contrast from last year, when MSLO reported 40 percent growth. It raises the question of whether we’ll see staff cuts come at the four remaining mags: Martha Stewart Living, Everyday Food, Martha Stewart Weddings and Body + Soul. The company trimmed about 12 staff from across the board in August.
— Broadcast’s Booming : The company’s broadcast business cleared $14.3 million in Q308, up 62 percent from $8.8 million in Q307. Much of the growth came from the Emeril media properties, which MSLO acquired for $50 million in February.