Tribune Media Revs Up, Local And Digital Rocket

Political advertising soared at Tribune Media’s TV stations during the fourth quarter, with its core advertising witnessing slight declines.

Advertising revenues grew 13% to $381.4 million, with political advertising revenue gains of about $49.4 million. Core advertising slipped 2.4%, or $7.7 million.

For its fiscal 2014 year advertising as a whole, revenues were up 3.3% to $1.34 billion, with increases in political advertising revenues of about $74.4 million. Core advertising sank 3.3% or $40.2 million.

Local TV station retransmission fees were up 68% to $58.4 million in fourth-quarter 2014, and 76% for the year at $229.2 million.

Tribune Media’s digital and data business also did well -- largely due to its Gracenote acquisition in January 2014. Fourth-quarter results were $61.2 million (versus $19.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013) and $174.0 million for its fiscal 2014 year (against $79.2 million in 2013).



Tribune Media, which was spun off from its publishing operations on August 4, 2014, grew its revenues in the fourth quarter by 85% to $553.4 million and by 70% for its full 2014 year to $1.95 million. Operating profit grew nearly threefold in the fourth quarter to $163.4 million and 51% for the full year to $301.1 million.

Midday trading had Tribune Media’s stock up 0.1% to $65.93.

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