Media General’s TV Stations Generated $41.5 Million in Political Revenues
RICHMOND, VA.: Media General announced
today that its 18 broadcast television stations generated approximately $41.5 million
in political advertising revenues through Nov. 2.
Four Media General television stations generated about two-thirds of the total,
including WFLA-TV in Tampa, Fla.; WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio; WSPA-TV in Spartanburg,
S.C.; and WJAR-TV in Providence R.I. A late surge in advocate group and party spending
for two hotly contested Congressional races in Virginia’s 5th and 9th districts
generated more revenues than anticipated for WSLS-TV in Roanoke, Va., and WJHL-TV
in Johnson City, Tenn.
“We generated nearly $24 million in political revenues in October and the first
two days in November,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and CEO of Media General.
Media General’s newspapers generated approximately $450,000 in political revenues
and the company’s Web sites garnered approximately $50,000.
“While the dollars are much smaller compared to television advertising, we were
pleased to see our other media platforms viewed as a reliable way to convey issue
and campaign messages to a target audience,” Morton said.
Political spending, combined with revenue from the Winter Olympics and an
overall improved market contributed to “significant” year-over-year performance
for 2010, he said. Consequently, Media General awarded cash bonuses to
employees that endured pay cuts in 2009 as a result of Media General’s furlough
program. Payments were equal to two furlough days, totaling $1.5 million across
the company, and recorded in the third quarter. Media General imposed 15
compulsory furlough days in 2009.
Media General (NYSE: MEG) reported $75 million in broadcast revenue for the
third quarter, up 18 percent over the same quarter a year ago.
-- Deborah D. McAdams