The combined company's net operating revenue improved 16% to $147 million, with operating income rising to $19.3 million from $12.8 million. Net income almost doubled to $5.4 million from $3.0 million.
Media General is now the seventh-biggest U.S. TV station group, representing 19.4% of U.S. TV households -- more than double its 2011 level, when it comprised 8.3%. In March of this year, Media General announced a $1.6 billion deal to buy LIN TV, which it expects to close in 2015.
The company said core local and national gross advertising sales gained 4.6% -- with automotive up 20% and telecommunications adding 50% versus the same time period a year ago. Media General also did well with health care and entertainment marketers. This includes sizeable results from the Sochi Winter Olympics and the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.
Political revenues improved five times of a year ago to $4.4 million. Retransmission consent revenues were up nearly 50% to $34 million, while digital media revenues rose 33% to $5.4 million.
Local gross advertising time sales gained 5.9% to $76.4 million in the first quarter of 2014. National sales inched up 1.8% to $34.1 million in the first quarter of 2014.
Midday trading of Media General’s stock was up 3.8% to $15.67.