Media General Broadcast Revs Up 12%

Media General grabbed double-digit gains in revenue from its television stations amid higher political advertising and retransmission revenue in the first quarter of 2012.

But the company’s net losses grew to $34.4 million from $25.8 million in the period before, with the company blaming some debt modifications. Media General said its operating losses actually improved to just $3.2 million from $4.2 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Broadcast revenue -- from its 18 network affiliated stations -- climbed 12% to $73.4 million. All digital media -- TV and print-related -- slipped to $8.8 million from $10.2 million in the first quarter of 2011. Print/newspaper revenue dipped to $67.3 million from $73.3 million from the first quarter of 2011.

Total revenues in the first quarter of 2012 were virtually the same at $149.5 million, increasing just 0.4%.

Broadcasting political revenues were $6.2 million, compared with $188,000 last year. Cable and satellite retrans fees increased 63% to $8.7 million, the result of rate increases in contract renewals.

The company said its local media sites generated $7.8 million in revenues -- up 5.4%. There was nearly a 13% growth in local online advertising. It also said mobile digital revenues were up nearly threefold, with mobile page views almost doubling versus the period before.

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