- Associated Press - Monday, October 15, 2012

MCLEAN, VA. (AP) - Gannett Co. reported higher net income and revenue on Monday, helped by strong gains in political and Olympics-related advertising.

The media company said it earned $133.1 million, or 56 cents per share in the July-September period, up 33 percent from $99.8 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue grew 3 percent to $1.31 billion from $1.27 billion.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 53 cents per share, on revenue of $1.29 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

Gannett, based in McLean, Virginia, owns USA Today and 81 other newspapers, 23 television stations and several digital businesses.

The company’s newspaper publishing revenue dropped 3 percent to $890.2 million from $917.8 million. Gannett attributed the decline to “soft advertising demand” resulting from the slow economic recovery. Advertising revenue at the newspapers fell nearly 7 percent to $552.7 million from $591.7 million.

The company, however, saw its first increase in newspaper circulation revenue since 2007, helped by digital subscription growth.

Revenue in Gannett’s broadcasting unit grew 36 percent to $237 million from $174.3 million last year, thanks to what Gannett called “substantial” ad spending during the Summer Olympics. Political spending was “slightly higher” than a year ago, the company said.

Gannett’s stock slid 17 cents to $17.73 in midday trading on Monday. It has climbed $2.66, or nearly 18 percent in the last six months.

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