Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Your Ad Here: Postmedia Says Luring Advertisers a Challenge as It Posts Q4 Loss

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Your Ad Here: Postmedia Says Luring Advertisers a Challenge as It Posts Q4 Loss

Article excerpt

Space for rent: Postmedia hunts for ads

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TORONTO - Advertisers were still elusive for newspaper publisher Postmedia in the fourth quarter and executives say there hasn't been much improvement ahead of the key Christmas holiday shopping season.

"Unfortunately, the weakness in print advertising has persisted into the early portion of the first quarter," chief financial officer Doug Lamb told analysts on Friday, as the media company deepened losses by four per cent to $49.8 million.

Postmedia, owner of several newspapers and websites, including the National Post, "may see some modest growth" in digital ads during the current quarter, Lamb said.

However, he added that print "continues to be a challenge" heading into November, an important buying period for marketers who are lining up campaigns for the Christmas holiday. Postmedia's current quarter ends Nov. 30.

Weakness in advertising isn't a new phenomenon for newspapers, but it's troubling for a company like Postmedia, which has aggressively reworked its digital presence in hopes more marketers will buy space on its websites.

The company has blamed technology giants like Facebook and Google for advertising dollars passing it by. The Silicon Valley giants sell marketing campaigns catered to very specific demographics across the country, a platform that older media companies have struggled to replicate.

"I would guess most other newspapers in Canada would also be following the same trends," president and CEO Paul Godfrey said on the company's quarterly conference call.

"We know why they're falling, it's the same reason why we're falling."

On Friday, Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.B) reported that losses deepened in the fourth quarter as revenues dropped 13 per cent, weighed down by weaker print and digital advertising sales.

The Toronto-based media company's net loss amounted to $1.24 per share in the most recent quarter ended Aug. 31, compared with $1.19, or $47.9 million in the same period a year ago.

Overall revenue slipped to $146.8 million from $169.3 million, mainly on weaker print advertising sales that fell 21 per cent to $74. …

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