in the red

in the red  {adv.} or  {adj. phr.},  {informal}
In an unprofitable way; so as to lose money.
A large number of American radio stations operate in the red.
A rich man who has a farm or ranch often runs it in the red, but makes his money with his factory or business.
Contrast: IN THE BLACK.
Origin: From the fact that people who keep business records usually write in red ink how much money they lose and in black ink how much money they gain.
Categories: business money {adj. phr.} {adv.} {informal}