Accuracy in Media

The news keeps getting gloomier for The Washington Post as the company announced that earnings in the 4th quarter dropped by 22%, with few signs of a rebound in sight.

Excluding special items, the company reported that net income fell to $61.7 million from $79 million a year ago. Revenues declined 10% to $1.06 billion.

The biggest decline came in the company’s Kaplan higher education unit, with revenues off 14% and a 51% drop in profits, as it continued to experience difficulty after new laws regarding financial aid for for-profit colleges were enacted.

Newspaper publishing revenue fell 3.9% from a year ago while circulation at the flagship newspaper declined 6.3% for the full year to an average daily circulation of 516,200.

Election year advertising, combined with the recently announced newsroom buyouts, should help the Post this year. But it will only provide a temporary lift and won’t help the newspaper’s long-term prospects as readers continue to move to the web and mobile platforms for their news, which is sapping traditional newspapers like the Post of revenues and more importantly, profits.

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