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Circulation and print advertising declines continued at the Washington Post in the last quarter of 2012, according to the Washington Post Co.’s latest Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
While political ads buoyed the company’s television division, the picture was not so rosy for print. Daily circulation at the Post dropped by 8.6 percent from 2011, to 471,800 copies. Sunday circulation fell by 6.2 percent, to 687,200 issues. Print ads were down, too, with a 14 percent decline in 2012 to $228.8 million. In a spot of good news for the papers, websites like washingtonpost.com and Slate recorded a 5 percent increase in ad revenue to $110.6 million—-nice, but not enough to match the decline in print ads.
The Post Co.’s whole newspaper division did poorly in 2012, with an operating loss of $53.7 million that is partially blamed on increased pension costs. In more bad news, the papers’ long-time cash cow is ailing—-revenue at the paper’s education division fell 9 percent in 2012. The Kaplan Test Preparation program scored a $111.6 million goodwill writedown.