Media General, which owns newspapers and broadcast TV stations in a number of states, reported that total revenues decreased 11.7% to $168 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The drop reflects continuing declines in print newspaper advertising demand as well as the absence of political advertising associated with the 2010 midterm elections.
Total print revenues decreased 6.6%, according to Media General, with continued declines across the national, local, and classified categories. Excluding political advertising, broadcast ad revenues increased 8.9%. As expected, political ad revenues fell from $24 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 to just $3.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
One bright spot was local online revenues, which grew 15%. Media General Web advertising produced a total of $8.3 million in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2011. However, the company continues to carry a significant amount of debt -- $658 million at the end of the fourth quarter.
Looking ahead, Media General should benefit from increased political advertising, and has already seen higher broadcast revenues from strong spending in Republican primaries in South Carolina and Florida. It also expects broadcast to get a boost from advertising on its NBC stations during this year's Summer Olympics.