P. Anthony Ridder, Chairman-CEO of Knight Ridder, characterized recent results as "fitful, but directionally right."
But the downturn, which
"The wild card" for a turnaround nationwide "is help-wanted," said Steven Rossi, president of the company's newspaper division. Mr. Rossi also warned of "sustained high unemployment" in key markets, which holds help-wanted linage down.
At The Washington Post, the sole daily of the company bearing its name, Chairman Donald Graham said ad revenues through May were off 7.9%. Mr. Graham, who eschews any forecasting at such gatherings, said ad revenues for May were up 1% but cautioned that "it's far too early to conclude we've hit bottom, or bounced off it."
One bright spot for the Post Co. was Newsweek, which through May reported ad pages down a mere 0.2%, well below the average decline for the magazine industry and better than the ad pages of other newsweeklies.