The McClatchy Co., the parent company of the Herald-Leader, reported Thursday a first-quarter loss. The California-based company, which publishes 30 daily newspapers, lost $12.7 million, or 15 cents a share, in the quarter. That's down from a loss of $2.1 million, or 2 cents a share, in the same period in 2012. Driving the decline was an $8.1 million after-tax loss on debt refinancing and debt repurchases, according to a company statement.
Revenue in the first quarter fell to $276.7 million, down 4 percent from $288.3 million in the first quarter of 2012. Advertising revenue fell 6 percent to $197.1 million, while circulation revenue rose 1.6 percent to $67.5 million.
In a statement, CEO Pat Talamantes highlighted the success of a company-wide effort to require website readers to pay for certain levels of access. The program, dubbed Plus, saw $5.8 million in additional revenue in the quarter, and Talamantes said he expects that to rise to $25 million over the course of the year. Across its newspaper properties, the company has signed up more than 22,000 digital-only subscribers, according to a statement.