Profits of the Gannett Co. rose 17 per cent in the second quarter of 1977 and 16 per cent for the first six months, for a string of 39 consecutive quarterly increases in profitability since the firm went public in October 1967, recession or not.

In the recent quarter, Gannett [WORD ILLEGIBLE] $18.7 million (70 cents a share) [WORD ILLEGIBLE] with $16 million (60 cents) [WORD ILLEGIBLE] same 1976 period while revenue rose 15 per cent to $140 million.

[WORD ILLEGIBLE] brought six-month profits to [WORD ILLEGIBLE] ($1.17) vs. $27 million ($1.01), [WORD ILLEGIBLE] up 13 per cent to $259 [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Advertising lines in Gannett [WORD ILLEGIBLE] 4.5 per cent in the first circulation was up 1 per [WORD ILLEGIBLE] circulation (not [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Sunday papers in Westchester County, N.Y.) rose 3.7 per cent.

When Gannett went public, it had 29 papers in 5 states with a circultion of 1.3 million. Annual revenues were $110 million.

In its 10th anniversary year as a public firm, Gannett owns 73 dailies in 28 states and Guam; more than a dozen weeklies; three radio or TV properties; and Louis Harris & Associates. The company does not expect to expand in broadcasting and has stated it will concentrate on newspapers.

Gannett has started 10 new Sunday papers in the last 18 months and will add more - but "not this year." Gannett first wants to absord startup costs.