01.28.2010 04:00 PM
Media General 4Q09 Broadcast Revenues Decline 17 Percent
RICHMOND, VA.: Revenue for Media General’s 18 TV stations fell 17 percent on
reduced political revenues, the company said today. Broadcast revenues for the
fourth quarter of 2009 were $71.6 million compared to $86.6 million a year
earlier. Total 2009 revenues were $259 million for the stations, compared to
$322.1 million a year ago. Media General (NYSE: MEG) no longer breaks out
segment income, but instead divides the business into geographic segments.
Consolidated 4Q09 revenues for its print, broadcast and digital media
properties came in at $177 million compared to $206 million a year earlier. Net
income was $27.4 million, or $1.18 per diluted share, for 4Q09, compared with a
net loss of $85.5 million, or $3.86 per diluted share for 4Q08. Operating
income adjusted for income taxes, severance and impairment was $22.9 million
for 4Q09 compared to $16.4 million a year earlier.
“The 2009 quarter included only $3.7 million of political revenues, compared
with $23.4 million in the 2008 fourth quarter,” said Marshall N. Morton,
president and CEO. “Advertising sales strengthened as the quarter
unfolded. In the month of December, total revenues were essentially even with
MEG reduced its workforce by 900 people in 2009, plus it implemented five
furlough days in the fourth quarter. Newsprint expense declined 57 percent,
reflecting lower prices and lower consumption.
A full-year, 2009 net loss of $35.8 million, or $161 a share, was posted on consolidated
revenues of $657.6 million. Results were impacted by an $84.2 million
impairment charge. Last year, MEG posted a net loss of $632 million, or $28.60
a share, on revenues of $797.4 million for 2008.
Debt at the end of 2009 was $712 million, compared with $730 million at the end
“In 2010, we will benefit from an improving economy, revenues from the Winter
Olympics on our eight NBC stations, and political revenues, which we estimate
will be approximately $42 million across all our markets for the year,” Morton
said. “For the full year, we expect our total revenues to increase in the
mid-single digits. Total operating expenses are expected to increase in the
mid-single digits, in part because we are not planning a furlough program in
2010. Our current budget estimates free cash flow of approximately $48 million
to50 million for the year.”
Shares of MEG rose 7 percent to $8.90 in today’s trading.
More on MEG
December 9, 2009: “Media General Chief
Sees Auto Ad Spending Uptick”
MEG expects 2010 political revenues of between $32 million and $34 million.
The Winter Olympics is expected to generate $7 million for MEG’s eight NBC
affiliates. Retransmission fees will come in between $18 million and $19
million compared to $16 million this year.
October 21, 2009: “Media General Reports
Loss on $84 Million Impairment”
September 17, 2009: “Media General Adds
July 22, 2009: “Media General TV
Revenues Drop 21 Percent”
July 2, 2009: “Gabelli Increases Stake
in Media General”
April 17, 2009: “Media General TV
Station Profit Plunges”
March 13, 2009: “Media General to
Shutter 30-year-old Washington Bureau”
January 29, 2009: “Media General TV
Stations Post Profit”