Journal Posts 4Q Loss on Write-downs

February 12, 2009

(Feb. 12, 2009) MILWAUKEE: 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 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 factoring in a $228.7 million write-down on the TV and radio licenses; charges of $700,000 for layoffs, and $800,000 for discontinued operations. Net income of $9.5 million in 4Q07 included $3.1 million in impairment charges. Excluding impairments, net income would have been $6.4 million for the quarter compared to $12.5 million in 4Q07.

For the full year, revenue was down 6.5 percent to $544.9 million. A net loss of $224.4 million included $253 million in impairment charges and write-downs. Net income of $110.1 million in 2007 included charges of $69.4 million. Without charges, 2008 net income would have been $31.4 million compared to $45.3 million in ’07. 

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