Tribune Revs Up, Rockets On Retrans Fees

Tribune Media witnessed weak TV advertising growth in its second-quarter reporting period — but continued sharp gains from retransmission/carriage fees from pay TV providers.

Advertising sales grew 1.4% to $334.6 million, with core advertising — excluding political revenues -- 2.3% higher.

TV station retransmission fees soared 23% to $70.1 million. Additionally carriage fees — those coming to its cable networks WGN America — were up 48% to $21.6 million.

Overall TV and entertainment revenues grew 4.4% to $445.6 million.

Tribune Media digital business also witnessed strong gains — adding on 29% to total $43.6 million during the second quarter period. During the period Tribune benefited from the acquisitions of Infostrada Sports, SportsDirect, Covers and Enswers Inc. A year before in the second quarter Tribune acquired HWW, Baseline and What’s ON.

Overall, Tribune Media revenue was up 6% to $501.5 million with operating period down 29% to $19.8 million. The loss came from higher expenses to a one-time extinguishing of debt.

Midday trading of Tribune Media’s stock was down 3% to $43.23.



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