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.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Sacramento Bee
“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.