Gannett's TV Revs Rocket 10%, Retrans Up 60%

Gannett TV revenues climbed nearly 10% in the first quarter of 2013.

Gannett pulled in $185.5 million -- 8.5% higher than its $170.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 -- despite the absence of Super Bowl advertising revenues, which the station group benefited from during the first quarter of 2012.

The company also pushed retrans revenues up 60% versus the first quarter of 2012, core advertising gained 2.3%, and political spending was down $3.4 million.

Gannett says, excluding political advertising, that the percentage increase in total TV revenues would have been 11% with core advertising revenues, almost 4% higher excluding the impact of the Super Bowl.

Much of the same pace will continue in the second quarter. Gannett stated: “We expect the percentage increase in total television revenues for the second quarter of 2013 to be in the mid-single digits compared to the second quarter of 2012."

It also showed strong political advertising results in the second quarter 2012: $11.8 million. Gannett says taking out political ad spending in the second quarter, it expects revenues to climb in the high-single-digit percentage.

Gannett revenues -- including its print businesses -- were 1.6% higher to $1.24 billion in the first quarter. Gannett's publishing business revenue was at $871.2 billion, down 0.3%. Its digital business revenue grew 3.9% to $174.9 million.

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