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Knight Ridder Releases May Advertising Report, Down 4.9%

Press release from the issuing company

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 13 -- Knight Ridder's total operating revenue for May was down 4.1%. Total advertising revenue for the month was down 4.9%. Knight Ridder Chief Financial Officer Gary Effren said, "May's results were mixed. Overall, ad revenue was about in line with the combined results of March and April, the most appropriate comparison because of the Easter shift. Retail revenue had its best month since June 2001 due to good results in home improvement, retail stores and financial. General, on the other hand, was soft. Classified, still reflecting employment weakness, was down in line with March/April." Retail was up 2.6% for the month and down 0.2% for the year to date. Some markets regained strength. San Jose was up 13.2%, Miami was up 7.5%, Philadelphia was up 4.2%, St. Paul was up 6.9% and Lexington was up 7.9%. The other large markets were soft. General advertising revenue was down 15.5% for the month and 7.8% for the year to date. Although telecommunications continued to show strong year-over-year comparisons, with additional growth from travel and entertainment, softness in financial, national automotive and pharmaceuticals offset those gains. Classified revenue was down 9.8% for the month and 14.1% for the year to date. Help wanted revenue was down 26.0%. Automotive was up 3.0%. Real estate was down 2.2%. San Jose's year-over-year decline continued to be the company's largest. Other large markets were soft, but considerably less so. Circulation revenue was down 4.5% for the month. However, daily and Sunday circulation copies increased 0.9% and 0.3%, respectively. Other revenue was up 12.1% for the month, reflecting primarily Knight Ridder Digital, up 35.9%, and an increase in earnings from Detroit, up 17.3%, partially offset by a 10.3% decrease in commercial print.

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