With the agreement to buy the big Belo Corp. TV group, Gannett will become more of a TV company, and less dependent on print. It could not come sooner for Gannett’s quarterly results.
Overall revenues were basically flat at $1.3 billion for the second quarter of 2013, with net income down 6.5% to $126.7 million. Broadcast revenues were up 3.2% to $212 million, with digital revenues some 2.9% higher to $186.5 million during the period. But publishing revenues -- Gannett’s big revenue generator -- were down 5.3% to 562.5 million.
It's not just TV that will play a bigger role in the future -- the company says digital company-wide overall growth of 20% during the period to $374 million will continue to increase, and will soon reach almost 30% of total revenue.
The increase in TV largely benefited from retransmission revenues -- some 62.3% higher. Overall revenues for TV would have been up 9.1% -- taking over political advertising comparisons. Overall core TV revenues were up 1.5% during the period.
Looking ahead to the third quarter, total core television revenues are expected to be up in the mid-teens percentages. In 2012 TV revenues benefited from approximately $75 million in political advertising and spending related to the Summer Olympics in 2012.
Excluding the incremental impact of political and Olympic spending, total television revenues in the third quarter this year compared to the third quarter last year are expected to be up in the mid-teens.
The $2.2 billion deal for Belo Corp is expected to close by the end of 2013, subject to antitrust approval.
Apparently, stockholders did not like Gannett’s earning results -- pushing its stock down 3% to $25.55 in midday trading.