McClatchy reports third-quarter loss

McClatchy, publisher of The Fresno Bee and 29 other newspapers, on Monday reported a net loss of $238.9 million in this year’s third quarter, with $230.9 million of that total related to after-tax, non-cash charges.

McClatchy said the non-cash charges relate to a non-cash deferred tax valuation allowance and non-cash impairments on newspaper mastheads, and certain equity investments. Craig Forman, McClatchy’s president and CEO, said the charges do not reflect the progress of business or the continued digital transition in McClatchy newsrooms nationwide.

McClatchy reported a loss of $9.8 million in the same quarter of 2016.

The company reported an adjusted net loss of $5.9 million in the most recent quarter, excluding severance, impairments, the tax-valuation allowance and other items in the third quarter ended in September.

McClatchy reported an adjusted net loss of $2.1 million in the same quarter a year ago.

Third-quarter revenue totaled $212.6 million, down 9.4 percent from a year ago.

The company estimated that in September, revenue from its East Coast operations was reduced by approximately $625,000 as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Advertising revenue was $115.3 million, down 13.4 percent compared with the third quarter of 2016.

Digital-only advertising revenue totaled $33.3 million, up 8.2 percent from a year ago.

Like other newspaper publishers, McClatchy has sustained a prolonged decline in print advertising revenue. It is putting more resources into digital products to capture a greater audience of online readers and advertisers.

Forman noted that the company-wide digital transition continues to produce results.

“We reported record audiences in the third quarter of 2017, reaching 89 million unique visitors in the month of September,” he said. “Our progress in newsroom reinvention, technology improvements and our reporting on Hurricane Irma boosted our audience growth.”

The media firm’s quarterly report said that 76.2 percent of third-quarter revenue was amassed outside print newspaper advertising. At quarter’s end, the company reported 92,800 digital-only subscribers, up 15.6 percent year-over-year.

McClatchy projected that print advertising will continue to become a smaller portion of revenue, and digital-only advertising revenue will continue to grow, finishing 2017 “in the low double-digit range.”

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover