|Edited by Bonnie Fuller, 'Star' still lags behind its competitors in metrics like household income but is gaining.
The company made headlines this year for its cozy relationship with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and several abrupt exits by key employees. But its financial results are what matter most to plans by David J. Pecker, the chairman and president-CEO, to take the company public. Those plans have already been delayed; Mr. Pecker now anticipates an initial public offering may take place two years from now.
Ad revenue increased 2.7% from the quarter last year to $43.5 million, while circulation revenue declined 3.7% to $83.7 million.
Newsstand revenue fell $2.3 million, or 3.2%, primarily because the company published 13 issues of its weekly magazines during the quarter rather than 14 in the quarter last year. But Hurricane Katrina also cut into newsstand sales during the last four weeks of the quarter, slicing $1.7 million from revenue, according company estimates.
‚ÄúThe National Enquirer and Star are experiencing improved newsstand sales in the beginning of the third quarter of the current fiscal year,‚ÄĚ the company said in its filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
American Media has poured resources into remaking and revitalizing Star, which had been a newsprint tabloid before Bonnie Fuller was hired to lead it into the promised land of celebrity weeklies. The fall 2005 report from Mediamark Research Inc., released this week, shows that Star still lags its competitors in metrics like household income -- but is making gains.
Star readers‚Äô household income, for example, rose to $48,130 in the most recent report from $44,916 in the report one year ago. Its readers‚Äô median age declined to 36.5 from 39.7, which is a good thing in advertisers‚Äô eyes. And Mediamark estimated its total audience at nearly 9.5 million, up 15.2% from 8.2 million the year before.