Media General: Broadcast, Digital Post Double-Digit Rise


Media General grabbed nearly 20% more broadcast television revenues in its third-quarter reporting period.

Its TV stations benefited from improved political advertising -- as most TV station groups have done. It had $9.7 million in political revenues compared with $1.5 million last year, much of this coming to its TV properties in Florida and Ohio.

From all its businesses, the media company's revenue improved 3.3% to $163.2 million, posting an operating income of $11.5 million versus an operating loss of $67.7 million. Overall, it had a net loss of $10.7 million stemming from higher-interest expenses in the period.

Media General's publishing revenues continued to pull back its positive results, sinking 7.6% from a year ago. Most of this came from lower retailer spending, which delivered just 7.8% under its local revenues area. Classified revenues continued to be hit hard, down 11.4% from last year; while national print ad revenues were 2% lower.



The company's online businesses continued to gain. Local media Web sites grew 15% in revenues. Online classified revenues improved 12% -- in part due to its Yahoo and Zillow partnerships. Local online revenues rose 22.5%.

Page views and unique visitors for its newspaper and television Web areas were up 5.6% and 3.5%, respectively.

Looking to the fourth quarter, Media General expects total revenues to improve anywhere from 6% to 8%; with broadcast revenues continuing to be extra strong -- growing 24% to 26%, driven by strong political advertising. Publishing revenues are estimated to decline 5% to 7%. Digital media revenues should climb 9% to 11%.

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