Media General Cuts Losses
RICHMOND, VA.: Multimedia company Media General cut its losses
on lower revenues for the first quarter of 2010. The company’s 18 TV stations
did better over all as print continued to suffer. Broadcast revenues increased
12 percent to $67 million. Local and national time sales were up 12 and 13
percent, respectively, and retransmission revenues rose 27.5 percent to $4.6
“We benefited from strong advertising sales during the Winter Olympics and
March Madness, and Political spending began to ramp up,” said Marshall N.
Morton, president and CEO. “We also benefited from our lower cost structure. These
factors together produced a turnaround in segment operating profit--income of
$19.4 million this year, compared with a loss of $780,000 last year. Every
segment contributed to this improvement... Our broadcast business has very
strong momentum that is expected to continue as political spending increases.”
Media General (NYSE: MEG) largest segment--publishing--generated revenues of
$81.3 million versus $89.7 million last year. Consolidated revenues for all
segments totaled $158.9 million versus $159.1 million last year, with a net
loss of $16.7 million versus $21.3 million. Operating income--before interest
expense--was $8.7 million, compared with a loss of $11.6 million in the first
quarter of 2009. Media General said the higher interest expense was a result of
a new financial structure completed in February 2010.
The company said it expects continued improvement in segment operating results
during the second quarter to be “more than offset by higher interest expense
and tax expense.” The results will compare to 2Q09 when Media General logged a
$7.1 million gain on the sale of its CW affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla. The
decline in publishing revenues is expected to continue, as well as the increase
in broadcast revenues based on political spending.
More on Media General:
March 8, 2010
: “Media General’s NBC
Affiliates Exceed Olympics Revenue Goal”
Media General said today said its eight NBC-affiliated stations generated
$7.6 million in ad revenue from the 2010 Winter Olympics, exceeding company
expectations by $600,000.
February 8, 2010
: “Media General Prices $300
Million Private Offering”
Media General has priced its previously announced private offering of
senior secured notes due 2017.
January 28, 2010: “Media General 4Q09 Revenues
Decline 17 Percent”
Broadcast revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 were $71.6 million
compared to $86.6 million a year earlier.