Gannett TV Revs Rocket 20%, Print Falls

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Virtually erasing its 21% decline in TV revenues in the second quarter of 2009, Gannett Co.'s TV operations rocketed up 20% to $177.5 million for the same period this year.

The company expects this pacing -- 20 percentage points or more -- to continue for third-quarter 2010. But this might seem slow in coming; the bulk of this gain will occur late in the quarter due to an expected rise in political advertising.

Gannett and other TV operators have seen a strong recovery from ad sales in the last six to eight months, especially from category leaders in the automotive and telecommunications business.

Digital businesses at Gannett also went higher -- 8.3% to $154.1 million in the quarter, compared to $142.4 million in the second quarter last year.

But most of Gannett's revenue and strength come from its print businesses -- which have been suffering. Overall revenue fell 2% to $1.37 billion, with a 6% drop in print ad revenue. This compares with declines of 7.9% in the first quarter and 26% a year earlier.

All this didn't help Gannett's stock. Gannett shares fell 8% to $13.89 Friday as the company's revenue results missed expectations. Gannett reported a profit of $195.5 million -- up from $70.5 million in the second quarter 2009 -- from improved broadcast business and tax gains.

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