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Risk Factors

This Web site contains forward-looking statements. Additional written and oral forward-looking statements may be made by the Company from time to time in Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") filings and otherwise. The Company cautions readers that results predicted by forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those relating to the Company's:

Because of the potential threat to the Company's traditional sources of revenue (particularly classified advertising and circulation) posed by on-line competition, the Company may seek to develop its own on-line products which may incur losses.

  • future business prospects
  • revenues
  • working capital
  • liquidity
  • capital needs
  • interest costs and
  • income
are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements. The risks and uncertainties include those listed below as well as other risks and factors identified from time to time in the Company's filings with the SEC.

Advertising Revenues
Advertising is the Company's most significant source of revenue. Competition from other forms of media available in the Company's various markets, including direct marketing, affects the Company's ability to attract and retain advertisers and to increase advertising rates. Advertising could be negatively affected by an economic downturn in any of the Company's markets.

Advertising revenues cause the Company's quarterly consolidated results to vary by season. Second-quarter and fourth-quarter advertising volume is higher than first- and third-quarter volume since economic activity tends to be lower after the holidays and in the summer. National and local economic conditions, particularly in the New York City and Boston metropolitan regions, affect the levels of the Company's retail, national and most particularly, classified advertising revenue. Structural changes in the retail environment may also depress the level of display advertising revenue.

Circulation Revenues
Circulation is a significant source of revenue for the Company. Circulation revenue and the Company's ability to achieve price increases for its products are affected by competition from other publications and other forms of media available in the Company's various markets. Circulation could also be negatively affected by an economic downturn in the Company's markets, including, but not limited to, the New York City or Boston metropolitan regions. Decreased consumer spending on discretionary items like newspapers and magazines and the decreasing number of newspaper readers among young people could also negatively affect circulation.

Paper Prices
Newsprint and magazine paper are the Company's most important raw material and represent a significant portion of the Company's operating costs. The Company's operating results could be adversely affected to the extent that such historically volatile raw material prices increase materially.

Labor Relations
Advances in technology and other factors have allowed the Company to lower costs by reducing the size of its work force. There is no assurance that the Company will continue to be able to reduce costs in this way. A significant portion of the Company's employees are unionized and the Company's results could be adversely affected if labor negotiations were to restrict its ability to maximize the efficiency of its operations. In addition, if the Company experienced labor unrest, its ability to produce and deliver its largest products could be impaired.

New Products in New Markets
There are substantial uncertainties associated with the Company's efforts to develop new products and services for evolving markets. The success of these ventures will be determined by the Company's efforts, and in some cases by those of its partners, fellow investors and licensees. Initial timetables for the introduction and development of new products or services may not be achieved and price/profitability targets may not prove feasible. External factors, such as the development of competitive alternatives and market response, may cause new markets to move in unanticipated directions.

Because of the potential threat to the Company's traditional sources of revenue (particularly classified advertising and circulation) posed by on-line competition, the Company may seek to develop its own on-line products, which may incur losses. The Company may also consider the acquisition of specific properties or business that fall outside its preferred parameters if it deems such properties sufficiently attractive.

Product Portfolio; Acquisitions
From time to time, the Company evaluates the various components of its portfolio of products and may, as a result, buy or sell different properties. Such acquisitions or divestitures may affect the Company's costs, revenues and profitability.

Acquisitions involve risks, including difficulties in integrating acquired operations, diversions of management resources, debt incurred in financing such acquisitions and unanticipated problems and liabilities.

Television Broadcasting
The Company's television stations are subject to continuing technology and regulatory developments that may affect their future profitability. The advent of digital broadcasting is one such development. The Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") adopted rules in 1997 under which all television stations are required to change to a new system of digital broadcasting. The direct hardware cost of this change will be substantial and the new digital stations are unlikely to produce significant additional revenue until consumers have purchased a substantial number of digital television receivers. Additionally, the new digital transmission systems to be used by television stations, cable systems and direct broadcast satellites could greatly increase the number of electronic video services with which the Company's stations compete.

Year 2000
A discussion of the Company's plans and assessments with respect to the Year 2000 problem is included in the Management's Discussion and Analysis section of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 27, 1998. The Company is undertaking a remediation program to address issues related the Year 2000 problem. While the Company does not expect Year 2000 issues to have a material effect on results of operations, liquidity or financial conditions, the Company cannot guarantee that the Year 2000 problem will not disrupt operations or adversely affect its financial results. The Company is dealing with the issues arising from this problem on a timely and systematic basis.

The foregoing list of factors should not be construed as exhaustive or as any admission regarding the adequacy of disclosure made by the Company.

The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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