SAN FRANCISCO —McClatchy and Gannett said today that advertising trends are improving, lifting shares of the newspaper chains.
Executives from both companies spoke to investors at a UBS media conference in New York.
McClatchy, which owns The Eagle, said advertising revenue should continue to improve into next year. Ad revenue declines appear to be abating, helped by improvements in classified ads, and more recently, employment ads.
Ad revenue fell 5.8 percent in October and November, compared with drops of 6.4 percent in the third quarter and 8.2 percent in the second quarter of this year.
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McClatchy is the third-largest U.S. newspaper company. Its dailies also include the Miami Herald, the Kansas City Star and the Sacramento Bee.
The company said it expects to have $1.8 billion in debt by year's end, which it called "very manageable." McClatchy has $18 million in bonds that mature in mid-2011 and then no other debt repayments until 2014.
Gannett, owner of 82 newspapers including its flagship paper USA Today, said advertising is improving at its community papers, while political and car ads are helping revenue at Gannett's television stations.
In addition, the media company said it is "comfortable" with the high end of analysts' profit forecasts for the fourth quarter.