Media General: Broadcast Revs Sink, Digital Rises

by , Oct 19, 2011, 12:00 AM
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Media General's broadcast revenues were hit by lower advertising sales in the third quarter.

Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer of Media General, said the global markets, uncertainty in the government's plan domestically "and a downward turn in the economy all contributed to a further softening of the advertising market."

Total revenues sank 11.4% to $144.7 million. Taking out political advertising, broadcast revenues for the quarter decreased 2.4%.

But advertising improvement is coming, per the company, which said the pace of fourth-quarter broadcasting business is up 9% to 11% ahead of last year (excluding political advertising). Next year Media General expects better advertising results, with the Summer Olympics and the Super Bowl on eight NBC stations.

Digital businesses were the silver lining for the company --- with local media Web sites getting more than $8 million in revenues, a 13% hike, and $1 million in cash flow.

Overall, Media General had operating income of $5.7 million versus $11.5 million in the 2010 third quarter. Its net loss of $29.8 million widened in the period, partly due to a non-cash impairment of $26.6 million. This was compared with a net loss of $10.7 million.

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