Times Mirror earnings fall 32.5% Advertising slump blamed for the decline.


The prolonged advertising slump gripping the newspaper industry continues to bleed profits from Times Mirror Co., the Los Angeles-based publisher of The Sun and The Evening Sun.

Net income for the second quarter, which ended June 30, fell 32.5 percent from the same quarter of 1990, according to earnings figures released yesterday. That figure was skewed by the $20.6 million loss Times Mirror took on the sale in May of an ailing magazine publishing subsidiary, Broadcasting Publications Inc., the company said.

Per-share earnings fell to 24 cents, down a third from 36 cents in last year's weak second quarter and less than half the 66 cents earned during the period in 1989, before the industrywide downturn began.

The company posted healthy increases in its earnings from its cable television and book and magazine publishing divisions, but those gains were offset by a 13.9 percent slide in profits from its newspapers, which account for more than half of its revenue. In addition to The Sun and The Evening Sun, Times Mirror publishes the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Hartford Courant and several other newspapers.

Robert F. Erburu, Times Mirror's chairman and chief executive officer, said that "effective cost reductions" and gains from non-newspaper operations partially made up for the company's advertising losses.

He said that "it is unclear when advertising revenues will improve significantly. Thus it is likely that our earnings will continue to be adversely impacted."

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