Media Companies Lick the Dirt

It's not a great time to be a media conglomerate. Time Warner and Barry Diller's IAC both put out earnings this morning that are pretty painful. Especially for Time Inc.

IAC lost $28.4 million this quarter on weak advertising. Perhaps pumping millions into the Daily Beast and not really worrying too much about selling ads to get money coming back to you, to make up for the money you spent, is not a profitable business strategy? It's much too early to tell.
[But kudos to Diller's PR person for getting that puffy interview placed in USA Today on earnings day! Good distraction work!]

And let's talk about Time Warner! Its overall profit was down 14% this quarter, so it's going to spin off AOL to get rid of that dead weight. But what about its other dead weight: Time Inc, the illustriouscrediblest magazine company in America??

Time Inc's ads are down 30% this quarter. That is just monstrous. To put that in perspective for you: that's as bad as newspaper companies did this quarter. When you're a magazine company losing ads as fast as newspaper companies, you are not doing well. Subscription revenues also fell 16%.

Maybe they'll make up that gap by selling their online content? No, they won't. Bad times.