I'll let you in on a little-known secret. A good number of journalists are bad at math. Most will admit this to you when pressured. I, for one, was not required to take a math class in college to receive my degree. And yet here I am spending most of my time writing about numbers.

Why do I bring this up? Because Pulitzer (NYSE:PTZ) -- publisher of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Arizona Daily Star, along with a dozen other dailies -- had to delay its third-quarter earnings report and conference call, which was set for today.

The delay involves a complex accounting rule regarding its equity interest in The Herald Company and The Herald Company's interest in Pulitzer. It always humors me to think of executives in the hallowed halls of journalism buried under stacks of numbers.

But this is no laughing matter for Pulitzer. It might have to record a non-cash charge, though the company said that any charge would not hurt its "operating income."

Pulitzer by no means is losing money, however. Last quarter, the company reported net income of $11.4 million or 53 cents a share compared to $7 million or 32 cents a share during the same quarter last year. Plus, last month, Pulitzer reported that revenues increased 1.9% in August. The company is set to release its latest revenue numbers tomorrow.

So why is this delay important? Because it is still a mixed market for media companies. Media executives and investors are waiting for any sign that the advertising market has turned around. The bellwethers, like Gannet (NYSE:GCI), Knight Ridder (NYSE:KRI), The New York Times (NYSE:NYT), and Tribune (NYSE:TRB) have reported flat to slightly higher ad revenues during the latest quarter.

Thanks to complex issues that are related to math, we'll have to wait to see how Pulitzer fared against its competitors during its third quarter.

Brian R. Hook is a freelance financial writer and can be reached by email at brhook@msn.com.