The Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times and KTLA-TV (Channel 5), said Thursday that quarterly profit fell 28 percent as revenue slipped and it absorbed charges related to severance costs and stock compensation expense.
Tribune reported first-quarter net income of $102.8 million (33 cents per share), compared with $142.8 million (44 cents) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 1.3 percent to $1.30 billion from $1.32 billion in the year-prior period.
Analysts had expected first-quarter earnings of 36 cents per share on revenue of $1.30 billion.
The most recent quarter's results included a charge of four cents per share for stock-based compensation as a result of new accounting rules, a charge of four cents per share for severance and other payments related to new union contracts at Newsday, and a gain of one cent per share for publishing-property sales.
The Chicago-based company said that newspaper ad revenues were flat for the quarter and that strength in classified with interactive revenues up nearly 30 percent was offset by declines in national and retail advertising.
Publishing advertising revenue fell 1 percent to $997 million. National advertising was down 8 percent for the quarter, classified advertising was up 8 percent, and retail advertising revenues were down 2 percent. Paid daily circulation for Tribune papers, including the Chicago Tribune and Spanish-language Hoy, dipped 3 percent, with circulation revenue down 4 percent.
Revenue from the company's broadcasting and entertainment division was down 2 percent to $303 million. While the television group's revenues decreased 2 percent, its revenue showed less of a decline than in any quarter last year, Tribune said. Station revenues in New York were up for the quarter, while Los Angeles and Chicago lagged.
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