Journal Posts 4Q Loss on Write-down
The 12 TV stations owned by Journal Communications generated revenues of $33.4 million for 4Q08, down 5.5 percent from 4Q07's $35.3 million. The stations posted an operating loss of $51.9 million, reflecting a $56.9 million write-down on the value of the licenses. Excluding the charge, Journal (NYSE: JRN) said operating income would have been $5 million—flat compared to last year. Operating expense for the stations was cut by 6.5 percent from 4Q07.
Political and issue advertising revenue was $6.1 million in 4Q08 compared to $400,000 the year before.
For the full year ending Dec. 31, 2008, the TV stations generated $130.6 million in revenue, down 2.6 percent from the $134.1 million chalked up in 2007. Political revenue was $11.6 million compared to $1.3 million in '07. Revenue from Olympics advertising was $2.3 million.
The television division posted a full-year operating loss of $60.8 million included a $77.9 million write-down on the licenses, and a $100,000 impairment charge for layoffs. Without the charges, operating income fell 15.8 percent to $17.3 million compared to $20.5 million in 2007.
Journal's combined TV, radio, Web and print products generated $134.3 million in 4Q, down 9 percent from the previous year. Net loss was $223 million compared to net income of $9.5 million in 4Q07. For the full year, revenue was down 6.5 percent to $544.9 million. Net loss was $224.4 million versus net income of $110.1 million in 2007.