With the Washington Post Co. (NYSE: WPO) already considering the sale of Newsweek, the first quarter results surely cemented it. While other magazines were showing signs of life, Newsweek continued its steep decline, with revenue dropping 36 percent to $29.4 million driven by a 38 percent loss in ad revenue. By comparison, the Washington Post showed an 8 percent decrease in print ad rev in Q1 — and an 8 percent increase for digital revenue. (our coverage.) WaPoCo announced earlier this week that Allen & Co. is looking for buyers for Newsweek.
Still, by reducing expenses, the company managed to narrow Newsweek‘s losses to $2.3 million for Q1, compared with $20.3 million in Q109. The ’09 quarter included $6.6 million in severance and operating losses for now-sold Newsweek Budget Travel. A number of factors contributed to the Q1 ad revenue decrease including one less domestic edition in the quarter and the Q4 sale of the travel mag. Subscribers may be paying higher rates but the 1.1 million-issue circulation reduction led to a drop in sub revenue.
The Q1 revenue numbers — unfortunately — are in line with the trends for the last two years. Newsweek