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Newsweek Parent’s First Half Income Plummets

Washington Post Company’s mag division reports $36 million operating loss.

By Jason Fell

The Washington Post Company—parent of Newsweek magazine—today reported first half 2008 net income of $36.5 million, plummeting 73 percent from $133.2 million during the same period in 2007. Revenue, however, was $2.1 billion, up 7 percent from the same period last year.

WPC posted a net loss of $2.7 million for the second quarter 2008, compared to a net income of $68.8 million during the same period last year. Results for the second quarter included a $87.4 million charge related to the early retirement program offered at the WPC corporate, the Washington Post newspaper and at Newsweek.

The magazine publishing division posted $116.1 million in revenue, down 14 percent from $134.7 million during the first half of 2007. Second quarter 2008 revenue was $62.7 million, a decrease of 15 percent from $73.4 million during the same period last year. The division posted an operating loss of $36 million for the first half, down from an operating income of $6.9 during the same period last year. It reported a $3.7 operating loss for the second quarter, down from an income of $12.9 during the same period last year.

WPC attributed the first half declines in the magazine publishing division to an 18 percent decrease in advertising revenue and lower rates due to a reduction in rate base from 3.1 million to 2.6 million.

In March, more than 110 staffers accepted what WPC called a “voluntary retirement program,” which had been offered to 150 employees. At Newsweek, the buyout expense was $29.2 million—$24.6 million recorded in the first quarter and $4.6 million in the second.

Publisher Promoted

In other Newsweek news, Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel and Girlfriend Getaways magazines publisher Nancy Telliho has been promoted to president of Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc., the company announced today. She served as publisher of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel since October 2000.

Telliho replaces Newsweek Budget Travel CEO Harold Shain, who is to retire from at the end of the year. Her appointment as president is effective immediately.

By Jason Fell

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