Tuesday, November 20, 2007

WaPo in the red?

At the 24/7 Wall St. blog, Douglas McIntyre speculates that the Washington Post's newspaper operations may soon head into the red.

The reason: Slower online revenue growth (11%) and a drop in audience that has pushed it down 139 positions in Alexa rankings in three months. (The usual warning: One takes such rankings from Alexa and Compete with a bit of a grain of salt.) Meanwhile, overall operating income at the paper has dropped to about $9 million, down about half from a year ago.

McIntyre contrasts the Post with the New York Times, which is showing somewhat robust growth.

Interesting, since the Post's online operations often are held up as a model of innovation. I had a chance to visit this year and was impressed just with the vibe of the place. But the Post, while national, has never been known as "the" national paper, and it's still trying to find a good local online formula, as near as I've been able to tell, as is much of the industry. Here's hoping things improve.

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At 11/23/07, 1:01 PM, Anonymous Howard Owens said...

Alexa has lost all credibility. It's stats have been off for some time.

Compete, while not scientific (but no web metrics in the world is), is still more trusthworthy.

Compete shows WaPo traffic growing.

Web Audit and Scarborough have consistently ranked WaPo.com #1 in local audience reach for a number of years.

Has WaPo figured out local? Well, to the extent that no newspaper has really done so yet, than maybe not, but they're doing a far sight better than anybody else.

The WaPo.com is losing money meme began with Henry Blodget. Consider the source.

The whole argument is rather flimsy based on available evidence.

At 11/25/07, 5:27 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Thank you, Howard. This is why we post, to attract such comments that help provide context.



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