Economy tips Gannett drop

Media group posts profits down 16% to $174.8 mil

HOLLYWOOD — The Gannett media group Monday posted a 16% drop in third-quarter profit due to plummeting revenue as economy-battered advertising weakened further in the aftermath of the recent U.S. terrorist attacks.

The Arlington, Va.-based company — which has TV stations in 19 markets, publishes 97 daily newspapers and operates dozens of Internet sites –reported a 16% falloff in profit to $174.8 million. Revenue was off 3% at $1.52 billion.

“The events of Sept. 11 once again confirmed the importance of our business, — but these same events accelerated declines in an already challenging domestic advertising environment,” chairman-CEO Douglas McCorkindale said. “Television, facing very tough comparisons, did its job commercial-free in the days immediately following the attacks and then saw advertisers remain cautious in the midst of uncertainty.”

Cost controls have been implemented to “mitigate the impact” of the ad slump, McCorkindale said.

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