Gannett Executives Speak at Mid-Year Media Review
NEW YORK, NY – Executives of Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI) said at the Mid-Year Media Review today they continue to see mixed signals in the economy, although they expect moderate economic growth in the second half of 2005.
Douglas H. McCorkindale, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett, said overall, the company’s results are a mixed bag but “our publishing revenue growth has been solid and at the top end of the industry despite having some of the toughest comparisons.” He noted there is softness in advertising demand in some key areas.
McCorkindale said: “Our challenge continues to be determining what consumers want and delivering it to them….We will continue to expand our reach in the communities we serve and deliver information, including advertising, to our constituencies how and when they want it.”
Gary Watson, president of the Newspaper Division, said the company is seeing measurable success from its efforts online and with non-daily publications. “Clearly, these categories continue to be critical factors in our revenue growth but they also strengthen our position in the marketplace by expanding the footprint and reach of the newspaper brand.”
Watson said the Division is developing a way to measure the aggregated reach of the newspaper’s various products in a market. A test in two markets, Phoenix and Brevard County, FL, shows the newspaper brand “reaches more than three out of every four adults in the market each week.”
Craig Dubow, president and CEO of Gannett Broadcasting, said: “We expect a strong demographic performance for our key news time periods in the May sweep.” Also, he said new business initiatives are delivering good results. However, he noted, the two top categories, auto and retail, remain challenged in the local markets.
Dubow will become president and CEO of Gannett on July 15.
Craig Moon, president and publisher of USA TODAY, said revenues at USA TODAY are projected to grow in the mid-single digits for the second half of the year, although results have been choppy to date. “In the spring 2005 MRI book the USA TODAY brand, both print and online, reached 6.2 million unduplicated readers,” an increase of 55% in 10 years. USA TODAY now has the highest market share of its competitive set, he said.
Gracia Martore, senior vice president and chief financial officer, updated several operating assumptions including newsprint, debt and the share repurchase program. She said the company anticipates it will achieve percentage growth in earnings per share for the second quarter of 2005 consistent with the percentage growth in earnings per share in the first quarter of 2005.
Speeches by the Gannett executives will be available by Webcast until July 22. The Webcast archive is accessible through www.midyearmediareview.com or through www.gannett.com.
Gannett Co., Inc. is a leading international news and information company that publishes 101 daily newspapers in the USA, including USA TODAY, the nation’s largest-selling daily newspaper. The company also owns more than 800 non-daily publications in the USA and USA WEEKEND, a weekly newspaper magazine. Gannett subsidiary Newsquest is the United Kingdom’s second largest regional newspaper company. Newsquest publishes more than 300 titles, including 17 daily newspapers, and a network of prize-winning Web sites. Gannett also operates 21 television stations in the United States and is an Internet leader with sites sponsored by its TV stations and newspapers including USATODAY.com, one of the most popular news sites on the Web.
Certain statements in this press release may be forward looking in nature or “forward looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward looking statements contained in this press release are subject to a number of risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual performance to differ materially from these forward looking statements. A number of those risks, trends and uncertainties are discussed in the company’s SEC reports, including the company’s annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. Any forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important risk factors.
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