Media General TV Airs 17% Rev Rise

ArrowUp-over-Money-AAA1Led by strong political advertising and retrans revenues, TV station group Media General -- which recently sold off all newspaper operations -- took in second-quarter income that more than doubled its comparative results in 2011.

Operating income was $16.4 million versus $6.2 million in the second quarter of 2011. Looking at just broadcast revenues, the Richmond, VA-based TV group rose 17% in revenue to $84.1 million.

The largest broadcast advertising category was automotive, increasing 26.5%. Local ad sales grew 4.4% to $47 million; national advertising sales climbed 2.9% to $23.4 million. Other growing ad categories were financial, grocery, travel, home improvement, professional services and medical. 



The ad categories that declined were department stores, furniture, telecommunications and restaurants.

Political revenues were $7.5 million, compared with $600,000 last year. Cable and satellite retransmission fees improved 80% to $9.6 million from $5.4 million last year.

Broadcast Web sites took in $2.5 million in advertising revenues, up 18.6% from last year.

But Media General recorded a net loss of $146 million, as well as an after-tax loss of nearly $132 million related to the divestiture of discontinued newspaper operations. This compares to a net loss of $15.4 million in the 2011 second quarter.

Media General recently sold virtually all of its newspapers to a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, World Media Enterprises. Media General is in discussions with prospective buyers for The Tampa Tribune and its associated print and Web operations; it believes a sale is probable. All Media General newspapers are now shown as discontinued operations.

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