Newsweek lost $2.3 million from operations in the first quarter of this year — an improvement over the $20.3 million it lost in the first quarter of 2009, but not enough, apparently, for The Washington Post Co. to want to keep the magazine.
Revenue fell a whopping 36% year over year to $29.4 million. A 38% decline in advertising revenue from fewer ad pages, one less issue of the domestic edition in the first quarter of this year didn’t help matters. Subscription revenue also fell, thanks to a rate-base reduction implemented in February of 2009. At that time the company announced its intention to lower its average circulation to 1.5 million from 2.6 million by January of this year.
The sale of Newsweek Budget Travel also impacted the magazine’s declining first-quarter revenue. Budget Travel had brought in 3.4 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2009, although it had also registered an operating loss of $3 million.
“As previously announced, the Company has retained Allen & Company to explore the possible sale of Newsweek,” the Washington Post said.