Tuesday, October 2, 2007

MediaNews profits up; Singleton gets $1.8M

MediaNews Group, the Bay Area's largest newspaper publisher, reported a net income of $19.73 million for the year ending June 30, up from $1.08 million during the same period a year earlier, thanks to the acquisition of the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times. Revenue increased 59 percent to $1.33 billion from $835.9 million.

The chain of 57 dailies and 97 weeklies also said in its annual report that:
    • Chief executive and vice chairman Dean Singleton, 56, (left) received compensation of $1.83 million, including a salary of $1,061,250 and a stock award of $484,000.

    • President Joseph J. "Jody" Lodovic IV, 46, (second from left) received $2.23 million, including a salary of $722,100, bonuses of $1.1 million and stock awards of $302,500.

    Steven Rossi, 58, (third from left) executive vice president and chief operating officer, received $688,017.

    • Gerald Grilly, the former executive vice president and chief operating officer, received $1.76 million, including $1.48 million in severance.
Meanwhile, the Rocky Mountain News (a Scripps newspaper which has a joint operating agreement with Singleton's Denver Post) reports that MediaNews Group has been placed on credit watch by Standard & Poor's, with a downgrade possible if its results continue to deteriorate. According to the Rocky:
    S&P said the company's decline in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) is the result of lower advertising revenue in most of the company's newspaper markets.

    The ratings agency said MediaNews is in negotiations with its lenders to ease financial covenants that require a certain ratio of debt to earnings.

    "Although MediaNews has been pursuing cost efficiency measures for some time and expects to achieve additional cost savings in future periods, revenue declines have outpaced cost cuts during the past few quarters," analyst Emile Courtney said.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess now we know why Dean made this comment to AJR recently: "We don't know where we're headed or when we'll get there or what we'll find when we get there. But I can tell you this: We're going to have fun getting there."

Comforting to know that Dean's wallet is doing OK during this massive media consolidation, isn't it?

Any guesses on how many jobs they'll eliminate in 2008? And any guesses on how much of a profit they'll turn next year?

Anonymous said...

Just imagine what these middle-aged white guys could be earning if they slashed employees' vacation entitlements or eliminated medical coverage. 45-hour workweek, anyone?

Anonymous said...

medianews is the most poorly run company i've ever been at, and there's no way anybody in charge should be making that kind of money. this is simply insane!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

That's a profit margin of 1.4%. Singleton's investors (people like Bill Gates, who holds the note on the Mercury News) could have done much better just putting their money into T-bills or some other secure investment with a higher return. Why is Singleton worth $1.8 million to these people when they have alternatives that have higher yields and more security?

Anonymous said...

if that's all the yield singleton can post for his investors, HE'S NOT WORTH $1.8 MILLION and will soon be replaced. ... it won't be a firing, but something like a retirement ...

Anonymous said...

They can't give reporters a 50-cent-an-hour raise but the top two executives get a combined $4 million.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it. Singleton doesn't give a damn about newspapers and their mission. All he cares about is lining his own pocket. Stories are only something to wrap around the ads.

Anonymous said...

singleton doesn't understand the most basic concept of newspaper publishing, that in order to have strong sales you need strong circulation and circulation depends on quality news coverage ... cut back in the newsroom and people stop subscribing or buying the paper ... soon you can't sell ads because you don't have enough readership ...

Anonymous said...

To the last person to post here ... Don't be so naive: Singleton is simply squeezing out the last dime he can from these papers before he shuts them down. His Internet plans are designed to keep his employees interested, but he knows they won't be worth anything in the long run. Look at how many websites are online today. What chance does any of his newspapers have competiting with that? They should have stayed with print, where they had a monopoly. But Singleton's plan is to squeeze every dime he can out of his papers and then shut them down. Count on it!