Media General TV Revs Slip, Retrans To Rocket Up

Media General, now a local TV and digital media company, trimmed its net losses in the second quarter. Net loss was at $16 million, down from a net loss of $146 million in the second quarter of 2012. In the prior-year period, it registered a loss of $132 million related to the divestiture of discontinued operations -- mostly newspapers.

Total station revenues slipped to $82 million from $83 million. A major factor was political revenues sinking to $1 million from $7.5 million in the prior-year period. Cable and satellite retransmission revenue increased 38% (to $13.3 million, and digital revenues grew 17% (to $2.9 million).

Core local dropped nearly 2% to $46.1 million; with national revenues up 5.6% to $24.7 million. Automotive advertising, its biggest category, grew 5.5% in the second quarter. Broadcast cash flow was $27.5 million compared with $20.5 million in 2011 (the last odd-numbered year); the BCF margin was 34% vs. 29% in 2011.

The company expects its merger with Young Broadcasting to be completed in the late third or early fourth quarter. The combined company will own or operate 31 network-affiliated television stations across 28 markets, reaching approximately 16.5 million -- or 14% -- of U.S. TV households.

Looking ahead, Media General expects political revenues for the full year to be approximately $6 million, an increase over its earlier $5 million estimate. Retrans revenues are expected to grow approximately 47% from 2012. In the third quarter, core local and national advertising sales, excluding comparisons to 2012’s Olympics revenues, are expected to climb in the mid- to-high-single percentages.



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