The Washington Post Co. said Friday it swung to a profit of $93.8 million for the third quarter from a loss a year earlier, despite ongoing woes at its flagship daily newspaper.


The profit, which compares with a loss of $6.2 million a year earlier, came from gains in cable and broadcast television, which offset losses in newspaper operations linked to weak print advertising revenues and restructuring costs.

Profits were also boosted by one-time gains from asset sales.

Revenue for the quarter was essentially flat at $1.01 billion.

The newspaper division however recorded an operating loss of $21.8 million, largely reflecting charges for early retirement, severance and restructuring.

Newspaper division revenue fell four percent to $137.3 million, reflecting an 11 percent drop in print advertising for the quarter "largely due to reductions in general and retail advertising," the media group said.

Revenues from online activities, primarily washingtonpost.com and Slate, increased 13 percent to $26.9 million. Display online ad revenue increased 18 percent for the third quarter and online classified revenue rose one percent.

Average daily circulation at The Washington Post totaled 471,200 for the first nine months of the year, with average Sunday circulation 689,000.

The Post Co. offset losses with earnings from the Kaplan chain of schools and television outlets.

Cable television saw a rise in operating profit to $39.9 million and broadcasting operating income doubled to $54 million, helped by the Summer Olympics. Education unit operating profits sagged to $14.7 million