Media General: Lower Broadcast, Uptick In Local Sales

Media General got hit with a double whammy last week. For October. it reported lower broadcast revenues due to less political advertising, and a dip in newspaper revenue from more weakness in classified advertising.

But looking at non-political advertisers, local advertising sales grew 15% to $25.5 million; national spot climbed by a similar 15% rise to $14.4 million.

Broadcast revenues were off almost 17% to $41.7 million. Political revenues were some $17.5 million less overall for the company. Media General had some $21 million in political revenues for the same period in 2006. Gross broadcast advertising sales dropped 22% during the period.

Local sales witnessed improved revenues from automotive, services, grocery store and fast-food companies. Local telecommunications advertising was lower during the period. But that wasn't the case for national sales of telecommunications advertising--which rose, as did the automotive and entertainment categories.

Year-to-date, Media General's gross advertising sales have improved by 11% to $326 million.



Newspapers witnessed an 11% drop to $43.4 million, with more than 90% of the decline due to problems in its Tampa market. In other advertising categories--in three of the companies' big metro markets--real-estate revenues were down 34.7%, employment ads were off 21.4%, and automotive revenues sank 27.8%.

Interactive was one of the few bright spots, with revenue gaining 27.3% in October from the advertising gaming business, as well as revenues from the Yahoo HotJobs employment initiative.

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