The McClatchy Co., continuing to grapple with the transition to a digital media world, reported a quarterly loss Thursday amid an ongoing decline in print advertising.
Sacramento-based McClatchy, which owns The Sacramento Bee and 28 other daily newspapers, said it lost $2.8 million during the third quarter, or 3 cents a share. That compared with a profit of $7.3 million, or 8 cents a share, the year before. McClatchy said its loss from continuing operations came to $2.6 million, compared with a $6.7 million profit a year earlier.
Ad revenue fell 8.6 percent, to $174.6 million. Total revenue from all sources fell 3.3 percent, to $277.6 million.
Company executives said several advertising categories had a particularly weak quarter, including office-supply stores, telecommunications and drugstores. Nonetheless, the company said it continued to make progress on the digital front.
“While we were impacted by a sluggish print retail environment and a substantial decline in national advertising, we saw continued growth in other revenues, including digital advertising and audience revenues,” said President and Chief Executive Pat Talamantes in a conference call with investment analysts.
Digital-only advertising, which covers ad sales not tied to print advertising, grew 5.4 percent in the third quarter. Circulation and other “audience revenues” grew 7.4 percent, to $91.3 million.
Earlier this month, McClatchy offered to buy back up to $406 million worth of bonds, using the proceeds from its share of the sale of the automotive website Cars.com. The buyback offer is in line with McClatchy’s long-standing effort to pare back its approximately $1.5 billion in debt.
McClatchy shares closed at $3.26, up 9 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange.