Gannett Co Earnings Call Nuggets: Digital Subscriber Experience and Daily Circulation Changes

Gannett Co Inc (NYSE:GCI) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Digital Subscriber Experience

Doug Arthur – Evercore Partners: Actually, two questions. Gracia, the 46,000 digital-only subs, is there any – can you elaborate on what your experience has been with subscribers kind of who have been traditionally print-only? Do you have some hybrids where they’ve perhaps dropped print Monday through Friday but are getting it on the weekend and then taking the full access as well? I mean, can you sort of embellish on your subscriber experience in Digital? Then secondly, in terms of Q1 guidance on Broadcasting, any comments on kind of core ex-retrans?

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Gracia C. Martore – President and CEO: Sure. Let me begin to answer the first one and we’ve got Bob Dickey with us in the room, and I know he’ll want to chime in. Let me just say that with respect to the 46,000 Digital subscribers, as you know, we spent 2012 really focused, almost entirely, on taking the existing subscribers we had and rolling them into our new model. We did not spend any marketing dollars or really any time focusing on then developing new additional digital subscribers. We happen to have 46,000 of them as a result of the word that got out in the market. We have said that we expect in 2013 and we are in 2013 going to be spending not inconsequential marketing dollars and really focusing on ramping up that level of digital only subscriber because those subscribers tend to be younger and therefore more attractive in some ways to advertisers. So our goal in 2013 is to increase that I think 46,000 number to 250,000 to 300,000 subs by the end of the year. But Bob, do you want to add anything more specifically to…

Robert J. Dickey – President, U.S. Community Publishing: Doug, to your question about shift. I am happy to report, to date we’ve not seen any real significant movement from a seven-day to four-day or to Sunday only. Certainly there’s been some of that, consumers now have the choice, but so far as we get moving into the first wave, which will cycle next month, we’ve not seen significant movement, we’re within the projections we expected on the Sunday and daily home deliveries volume side. We are doing slightly better on the single copy side. Certainly something we will want to continue to manage, we watch it closely and we are very, very happy with our e-edition, the replica, the traffic there has been a pleasant surprise. It’s growing stronger than we anticipated and we think there are some things we can market their as well.

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