You might say this company chronicles the news in Milwaukee. Journal Communications is a diversified media company with operations in publishing, radio and TV broadcasting, and interactive media. Its publishing business is anchored by its flagship paper the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a leading daily newspaper in Milwaukee with a circulation of about 185,000. Its Journal Community Publishing Group also runs about 50 community newspapers and shoppers, serving markets in Wisconsin and Florida. Journal Communications owns and operates about 35 radio stations and 15 TV stations in a dozen states through its Journal Broadcast unit. It also operates several websites in conjunction with its media properties.
The worsening recession significantly impacted Journal Communications as all of its media outlets are heavily dependent on advertising for revenue. Advertising revenue accounted for more than 55% of the company's revenue from its daily newspapers in 2010.
The company continues to invest in online publishing operations to try and make up for the shortfall in print advertising as readers migrate to other mediums for their news. Although Journal Communications had been able to rely on consistent revenue from its relatively small printing services segment to supplement advertising revenue, the company sold its IPC Print Services business to Walsworth Publishing in late 2010 to focus more on its core businesses. Journal Communications sold its Pelican Press and PelicanPress Marketplace businesses to the Observer Group in 2011.
Advertising for radio and television did not suffer the steep declines seen in print advertising. Unlike 2008 and 2009, revenues from the company's broadcasting segment (52%) slightly outpaced the company's publishing segment (48%) in fiscal 2010. Revenue from television operations accounted for about 65% of the company's broadcasting revenue during 2010.
The Journal Sentinel resulted from a merger between The Milwaukee Journal (founded in 1882) and The Milwaukee Sentinel (1837) in 1995. Journal Communications went public in 2003.