InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS
The Philippine Daily Inquirer raises fresh hopes that the country's favorite tabloid-broadsheet and the ink-stained industry would somehow survive the ongoing Internet-induced implosion.
Cocktales has finally obtained a copy of the Inquirer's 2011 annual report, and it shows that the Yellow Army's megaphone - lighten up, that's a joke - had turned out P149 million in profit.
That's a respectable P39-million increase from the previous year's, despite the newsroom's - this is not a joke - Golden Acres-led image.
The 2011 performance reversed a slow, steady decline since 2001, Inquirer's best year by far. Buoyed by the Edsa 2 revival of business confidence and the lifting of the Erap-backed ad boycott, Inquirer's net profit roared past P286 million for that year.
Still, what a difference a decade and Internet made, as shown by the following yearly listing of Inquirer profitability since the Estrada ouster: 2001 (P286 million), 2002 (P259.8 million), 2003 (P259.7 million), 2004 (P258 million), 2005 (P207 million), 2006 (P200.9 million), 2007 (P181 million), 2008 (P125 million), 2009 (P122 million), and 2010 (P110.7 million).
Last year's P39-million spike in profitability was somehow tempered by the roller-coaster performance of its website venture, Inquirer Interactive, which, despite its name, is actually only 30 percent owned by the newspaper company.
Inquirer Interactive by 2009 had sunk into capital deficiency. Somehow, the Internet company rebooted itself out of near financial collapse, cranking out P2.6 million and P6.7 million profit for 2011 and 2010, respectively.
Still, the two-year positive streak was not even enough to cover the P40 million hole left in the Inquirer pockets by its predecessor, INQ7 Interactive, the failed joint venture with GMA Network.
On the other newspaper front, the real tabloids have not proven to be the money-spinners that tabs were reputed to be.
Cebu Daily News and Bandera, the two tabloids under the Inquirer stable, brought only a combined P3.2 million profit for 2011, already an improvement from 2010's measly P718,071 net.
The flip side of the Cebu operations is much worse.
Inquirer Cebu Inc., which despite its name is not owned by Inquirer the newspaper but by the little-known LRP Inc., had already booked P40 million in capital impairment as of 2011.
Even Inquirer's expansion into radio presents a greater challenge.
But, first, another clarification.
Despite being named Radio Inquirer, dzIQ 990 AM is not owned by the Inquirer but by the Tuasons, with Radio Inquirer being the blocktime operator.
Okay, to be technically correct about it, the blocktime operator is actually the Trans-Radio Broadcasting Corp., Radio Inquirer's corporate parent.
Trans-Radio, in turn, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JCMWELL Radio Holdings Corp., a company controlled by Christopher Garcia of Ayala Alabang, Manuel Chanco III (assistant corporate secretary of Sunvar Realty Development Corp.), Lydia Samonte, Ma. Asuncion Uichico of San Lorenzo Village and Franco Pangilinan of La Vista, with an identical 20 percent stake each.
According to its latest financial report, Radio Inquirer already lost P55 million in its two years of operation, prompting the board of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, although not even listed as a shareholder, to pledge just this March up to P73.5 million capital infusion to boost the bleeding venture.
Another clarification: Despite the Cebu Daily News' statement on its website that the Philippine Daily Inquirer is its "parent company," the real parent company of the Cebu tabloid is the Inquirer Publications, whose parent happens to be the Inquirer Holdings , whose majority holders in turn are listed as Pinnacle Printers Corp. and Excel Pacific Holdings Corp.
If your eyes have been glazing over from all these corporate layering, wait until you read the corporate shareholders and interlocking directorships of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, its printing companies, its newsprint supplier and its real estate affiliates.
Email Vic Agustin at email@example.com
InterAksyon.com means BUSINESS