Core advertising revenues at TV station group Tegna continue to climb -- amidst weakness in the automotive category due to supply-chain issues.
The station group's Advertising-Marketing Services (AMS) unit was up 14% in revenue in Q4 2021. There was strength across all advertising revenues.
Tegna says Q4 growth also continues compared to the pre-pandemic period. In the fourth quarter of 2019, AMS revenues grew 7%.
Subscriber revenues -- which includes retransmission agreement business -- grew 7% to $335.9 million in Q4 2021, while political advertising was down 90% to $26.6 million -- against a strong Presidential election advertising season in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Tegna separates political advertising from its earnings results.
Total company Q4 revenue was down 17% to $775 million -- in line with estimates, due to lower political advertising business.
Tegna has agreed to be bought by investment hedge fund firm Standard General and investors led by Apollo Global Management and its Cox Media Group, for $5.4 billion in cash, at $24 a share.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Monday morning trading of Tegna's stock was up 0.4% to $22.81.
The company's Premion business -- which sells locally targeted OTT advertising inventory -- grew 40% for the full-year 2021 versus 2020 -- despite weakness in the automotive category. Tegna did not offer other financial data.
Many TV station groups have started up OTT ad sales companies, to be combined with local TV-based deals, in order to boost reach for local TV advertisers.
Premion is expected to operate as a stand-alone business, majority owned by Cox Media Group and Standard General.