Media General
Media General has implemented many difficult but necessary expense reductions that strengthen our ability to weather the deep recession and recognize the reduced revenue streams available in our business. As a result, we are in a stronger position to take advantage of an economic recovery. We saw the rate of classified advertising declines abate somewhat in the second quarter compared to the first quarter of 2009, mostly in the automotive category, and particularly in our Florida, Virginia and Alabama markets. The decline in retail advertising in the current period was also less severe than in the first quarter of 2009.

Under the new structure, our leaders are responsible for the success of all of our media properties within a defined market area, not just a particular media platform…without allegiance to a particular media platform.
Marshall Morton, CEO Media General

New York Times
“We’re seeing a loosening up of some of the ad budgets that were very much rock solidly closed in first half of the year.”
NYT on 2Q09 Earnings call

We are undertaking quantitative and qualitative research as to how many of our readers would be willing to pay for online content, and how much they would pay. At this time, our work is centered on a metered model and a Times membership model with special offerings.
Janet Robinson, CEO, NYT

While we continued to experience a very difficult economic climate in the quarter as well as secular changes affecting the entire media industry, we made significant progress in decreasing our cost base and reducing and restructuring our debt. Advertising revenues decreased across all major categories although the rate of decline lessened throughout the quarter. As we continue our transition from a company focused primarily on print to one that is increasingly digital in focus and multiplatform in delivery, online advertising revenues are a more important part of our mix. They made up 21 percent of our ad revenues in the quarter, up from 18 percent in the same period a year ago.

Circulation revenues increased 1.5 percent as a result of higher newsstand and subscription prices for The Times, The Boston Globe and some of our regional newspapers. We believe this shows the value our newspapers provide day in, day out to our readers.

Based on what we have seen so far in July, we expect the advertising environment to continue to be challenging. We believe the rate of decline will moderate slightly in the third quarter from what we experienced in the second quarter.

Janet Robinson, president and CEO, NYT

Newsprint expense declined 24.5 percent, with 22.8 percent from lower consumption and 1.7 percent from lower pricing