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NEWSPAPER ON-LINE IN JULY: PAGE VIEWS UP AS MUCH AS 54.8% Only a few public companies release digital media figures.

Whether the metric is advertising revenue or on-line page views, it's clear that July proved to be a good month for newspaper digital media operations.

While most of the publicly held companies report ad revenue as a combination of both the print and on-line components of their businesses, a couple do actually break out digital media revenue (or at least percentage of revenue). Others provide information about unaudited page views. None supply both (of course). A look at what the companies provide makes for interesting reading.

The McClatchy Co. reported in July that on-line ad revenue for the month was up 49.8 percent over July 2003. For the year-to-date comparison between 2003 and 2004, the Sacramento-based newspaper company said ad revenue was up 54.8 percent.

Lee Enterprises Inc. said that revenue from "on-line services and other" was up 10.6 percent, to $2 million, when comparing July 2003 to July 2004. For the seven months ending Aug. 1, the Davenport, Iowa, newspaper company said that the same category's revenue was up 10.1 percent, to $19.7 million.

At Pulitzer Inc., the company reports on-line page views; it said that for the five weeks ending Aug. 1, page views were up 34.7 percent, to 51.2 million, when compared to the same period last year. For the 31 weeks ending Aug. 1, page views were up 38.6 percent, to 329.4 million.

The St. Louis-based newspaper company broke out some of those page view statistics: for the web site anchored at its St. Louis Post-Dispatch, page views were up 57.2 percent, to 36 million, when comparing the same five weeks in July 2003 and July 2004. At all of its combined community newspaper-based web sites, page views were up 17.1 percent, to 8.9 million, for the month, while page views at the Tucson Newspaper Agency in Arizona, where it is in partnership with Gannett Co. Inc., were down 16.1 percent, to 6.3 million.

In the Southeast, Media General Inc., said that page "selected on-line total page views" at its TBO.com (based out of the company's Florida operations at the Tampa Tribune and WFLA-TV) were up 13.2 percent, to 107 million, when comparing July 2003 to July 2004.

At the company's flagship property, Virginia's Richmond Times-Dispatch, page views were down 4.7 percent, when compared to last year, to 44.6 million. And, at the JournalNow.com web site -- leveraged off the company's North Carolina paper, the Winston-Salem Journal, page views were up 10 percent, to 19.6 million.

Gannett Co. Inc., the McLean Va., multimedia company that includes 101 daily newspapers (among them USA Today) and 22 television stations, said that when combining the Nielsen/NetRatings' home and work panels, total unique visitors for the month were up 11.5 percent, to 17.1 million.

With the exception of page views in Richmond, Va., and Tucson, Ariz., all the numbers were up, some of them dramatically (on-line revenue at McClatchy up 54.8 percent; page views in St. Louis up 57.2 percent). If the Gannett number gives you pause, realize that it is in reference to "unique visitors" -- which are counted entirely differently than "page views" -- and that's why it's so low (despite it being up 11.5 percent). Olympics and a piece of the Republican National Convention will be in the August numbers, which should be up as well.
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Publication:NewsInc
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 30, 2004
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