The lack of both Olympics and political ad money from the year-earlier third quarter resulted in the decrease.
Revenue for the Washington Post Co.’s television broadcasting division declined 11% in the third quarter of 2011 to $73.8 million, from $83.2 million in 2010; operating income for the third quarter of 2011 also declined 5% to $24.1 million, from $25.3 million in 2010.
The company said the decline in broadcast television revenue is due primarily to the absence of $4.7 million in incremental winter Olympics-related advertising in the first quarter of 2010 and a $9.6 million decrease in political advertising revenue.
For the third quarter of 2011, broadcast TV operating results declined as a result of lower revenue, offset by expense reductions from various cost control initiatives.
Cable television division revenue declined slightly in the third quarter of 2011 to $187.9 million, from $188.7 million for the third quarter of 2010; for the first nine months of 2011, revenue increased slightly to $569.4 million, from $568.6 million in the same period of 2010. The revenue increase for the first nine months of 2011 is due to continued growth of the division’s Internet and telephone service revenues, offset by an increase in promotional discounts and a decline in basic video subscribers.
Cable television division operating income decreased 9% to $36.8 million, from $40.3 million in the third quarter of 2010; cable division operating income for the first nine months of 2011 decreased 9% to $114.9 million, from $126.6 million for the first nine months of 2010. The division’s operating income declined primarily due to increased programming, technical and sales costs.
The company as a whole reported a net loss attributable to common shares of $6.2 million ($0.82 loss per share) for the third quarter ended October 2, 2011, compared to net income attributable to common shares of $60.9 million ($6.84 per share) for the third quarter of last year.
Read the company’s report here.