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Gannett 2Q TV Revenues Dip 20 Percent

McLEAN, VA.: Gannett TV revenues fell 20 percent in the second quarter compared to last year, with a similar slide expected for the third quarter, the company said today. Gannett’s 23 TV stations generated $148.4 million in 2Q09 compared to $184.8 million a year ago. Including Gannett’s Captivate digital signage business, the segment generated $153 million in the quarter compared to $192.6 million last year.

“Based on current trends, we would expect the percentage decline in television revenues to be in the mid-twenties for the third quarter of 2009 compared to the third quarter of 2008,” when stations did $50 million in political- and Olympics-related revenues.

Retransmission revenues increased three-fold for the quarter to $14.3 million, but declines in ad sales off-set the gain. Factoring in the compulsory furloughs, operating expenses for the segment were cut by more than 9 percent to $102.7 million.

Combined revenues for broadcast, digital and publishing for the quarter exceeded $1.4 billion, down nearly 18 percent from a year ago. Net income was $78.3 million ($70 million attributable to Gannett, minus around $8 million attributable to noncontrolling interests.) The quarter included several special items and one-time charges, including a $26.1 million gain on the company’s debt exchange, $10.3 million in restructuring costs, $29.6 million impairment and $24.2 million in write-downs, all after-tax figures.

Gannett’s 2Q09 results release is posted here (opens in new tab).

Previous TVB Gannett coverage:
June 25, 2009: “Bondholders Bet Against Gannett”
“Because of the credit crisis, an unfortunate bunching of credit maturities and a debilitating number of so-called negative-basis trades featuring credit-default swaps--all in addition to the industry’s secular and cyclical downturns--Gannett as we know it will be lucky to last through June 2011.”

June 19, 2009 “Gannett Shares Inch Back from CEO Concerns”
Shares of Gannett have slipped 8 percent since the company announced its chief executive was taking medical leave. The media company announced Monday that Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow was taking temporary medical leave following a back surgery.

April 16, 2009 “Gannett TV Station Revenues Drop 16 Percent”
Gannett’s 23 TV stations generated positive cash flow for the struggling media company in 1Q09. Operating cash flow was $52.7 million in 1Q09 for the stations and the company’s digital signage business combined. Broadcasting and DS revenues totaled $143.5 million in the quarter compared to $170.2 million in 1Q08. The decline was attributed to weakness in the auto and retail ad categories, and the disappearance of political advertising, which generated $5 million during the year-earlier period.
April 7, 2009 “Gannett Offers Higher Interest in Debt Exchange”
Gannett said it has commenced a private exchange offer for $200 million in notes due in 2011 and 2012. The media company is offering to swap $1,000 in new 10 percent senior notes due 2015 for an equal sum of 5.75 percent notes due 2011. For every $1,000 of its 6.375 percent notes due 2012, Gannett will issue 10 percent senior notes due 2016.

March 23, 2009“Gannett Continues Compulsory Furloughs”
Gannett is repeating the money-saving strategy of one-week furloughs in the upcoming quarter. The company employs around 31,000 people, who were required to take a week without pay during the first quarter of the year, saving the company a reported $20 million.

January 30, 2009: “Gannett TV Station Revenue Holds Steady”
Gannett’s 23 TV stations pulled in $205.6 million during 4Q08, the McLean, Va., multimedia company said this week in preliminary results for the period. The stations edged out 4Q07 revenues by nearly 2 percent. Gannett nonetheless warned that 1Q09 results would likely be down year-over-year by roughly 15 percent.

Jan. 15, 2009
“Gannett’s Game Plan”
Virginia-based media empire Gannett said it will send its entire workforce home without pay for one week, and freeze wages for the year, to avoid cutting jobs. The payless period is supposed take affect during the first quarter of this year. Gannett (NYSE: GCI) has more than 31,000 employees; 3,000 cuts were announced last August. Craig Dubow, chairman, president and CEO of Gannett, is taking the furlough as well.