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Media General Reports 4Q Loss, Halts Dividend

Media General News sustained a fourth-quarter loss due to the diminished value of some of its assets and a steep decline in print ad revenues. As a result, it is suspending its dividend to direct additional cash flow to the reduction of debt, according to CEO Marshall Morton. Last September, the company cut its quarterly dividend by nearly half.

Media General said it lost $85.5 million in the fourth quarter. The loss includes the reduced value of its licenses and affiliation agreements. Media companies across the U.S. have seen the market values of their TV and radio stations drop and are required to make note of the discrepancy in those values and account for the difference.

Total revenue dropped nearly 12% to $207 million. Among the company's 19 television stations, revenue fell 7% due to a precipitous fall-off in automotive ads. Newspaper revenue plunged 17%. Echoing the woes of most newspaper stocks, company shares have lost 90% of their value in the last 12 months.



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