FAIRPORT — Digital revenue increased 32 percent in the second quarter at GateHouse Media, Inc., but it wasn’t enough to offset a 4 percent decline in total revenue that helped result in a net loss of $2.9 million, or 4 cents per share, for the media company.
GateHouse, which owns The Observer-Dispatch in Utica and several other area publications, reported revenue of $128.8 million, down from $134.4 million a year ago, when the company reported a net loss of $5.1 million, or 8 cents.
No analysts provide estimates for GateHouse, whose shares currently trade for about 6 to 7 cents per share on the over-the-counter market.
“While we saw a softening in the economy during the second quarter that weighed on our results, particularly print advertising, we were pleased with the progress we continue to make on our transformational strategy for our business,” GateHouse CEO Michael E. Reed said in an Aug. 2 news release. “Digital revenues grew by 32.3 percent in the quarter versus prior year. Our digital products extend across web, mobile, and tablet products and led to 28.1 percent growth in average monthly page views during the quarter to 98 million.” The company did not break out its digital revenue totals.
Reed said GateHouse is also focusing on growing consumer revenue through means such as digital subscriptions and saw circulation revenue grow 0.6 percent from $32.7 million to $33.4 million during the quarter.
Advertising revenue decreased from $134.4 million to $128.8 million while commercial-printing revenue fell from $6.5 million to $6.3 million.
GateHouse continues to work to identify efficiencies and cost-reduction opportunities and was able to cut operating costs 4.7 percent during the second quarter from $72.2 million to $70 million.
GateHouse invested $1.1 million in strategic growth initiatives in the quarter, including Propel Marketing (www.propelmarketing.com), its locally based online-marketing provider to small- and medium-sized businesses. GateHouse launched the product in the Boston market and will offer it across the rest of GateHouse’s coverage areas through the rest of the year.
GateHouse also launched a private advertising exchange called adhance media, which currently services 16 media companies, including GateHouse, in filling ads for 484 websites across the country.
“In the quarter, we began rolling out our new content-management system across the company, and we now have two central desks in place,” Reed said. “This new technology, along with our central desks, allows our newsrooms to create content in a single system and maximizes the placement of that content across multiple platforms, while also creating efficiencies in many of the processes.”
Fairport–based GateHouse (www.gatehousemedia.com) operates publications and websites in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Locally, GateHouse owns The Observer-Dispatch in Utica, The Evening Telegram in Herkimer, and The Evening Times in Little Falls.
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