Skip to main content

Journal 2Q Broadcast Revenues Drop 18 Percent

MILWAUKEE: Second-quarter revenues for the 14 TV stations in the Journal Communications stable fell around 18 percent compared to last year, the media company said today. Operating earnings for the segment would have been down 53 percent, but were further deepened by an impairment charge on broadcast licenses.

TV segment revenues totaled $26.7 million for the quarter ending May 29, 2009, compared to $32.6 million a year ago. The drop was attributed to a decrease in ad revenues--16 percent in local and 35 percent in national. Retransmission revenue totaled $1 million, up by $600,000 from a year ago. Political and issue ad revenue was $400,000, down $200,000.

The TV segment operating loss of $13.4 million included a $14.9 million impairment charge for broadcast licenses. Excluding the impairment, the stations would have posted an operating profit of $1.5 million, down 68 percent from $4.6 million during 2Q08.

Television operating expenses (including KWBA-TV, acquired last July, and KNIN-TV acquired in April, but excluding impairment) were down 10 percent compared to last year.

Journal (NYSE: JRN), which owns 50 newspapers, 35 radio stations and 120 Web sites in addition to the TV stations, posted combined 2Q09 revenues of $109.4 million, down 22 percent from last year. An operating loss of $10 million included the broadcast impairment and a $1.7 million gain from an insurance payment on a tower replacement in Wichita, Kan. Sans impairment and the gain, JRN would have had operating earnings of $7.3 million, down 56 percent from last year.

Net loss was $4.8 million, compared to net earnings of $9 million last year. The company had $3.4 million cash and equivalents on hand at the end of the quarter. Shares were trading mid-afternoon at $1.41, up from around $1.02 yesterday. – Deborah D. McAdams

More TVB coverage of Journal Communications:
April 3, 2009: “Journal Communications Imposes Pay Cut
The top echelon of employees at Journal Communications will have to take off 10 unpaid days this year. The furloughs amount to a 6 percent salary reduction, several news outlets reported. Executives and managers are said to be affected by the move motivated by the collapse of the ad market.

April 1, 2009: “LIN Posts $830 Million Loss on $1 Billion Charge”
LIN TV posted 2008 results in March that included one of the heftiest impairment charges by a TV group up to that point. LIN wrote down more than $1 billion for the year and took an additional restructuring charge of nearly $13 million. LIN owns and/or operates 27 stations in 17 markets. By comparison, Hearst-Argyle, which has 29 TV stations, wrote down $940 million for 2008. Barrington wrote down $50 million on its 23 TV stations. Journal Communications, with 12 TV stations, wrote down nearly $78 million. Nexstar, with 50 or so TV stations, wrote off nearly $56 million for the first nine months of 2008. Sinclair, with 58 TV stations is expected to write down around $460 million. Belo wrote down $114 million on its 20 TV stations.

March 4, 2009: “Journal Posts 4Q Loss on Write-down”
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 (NYSE: JRN) 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.

July 2, 2008: “Journal Communications Agrees to Pony $8 Million for KNIN-TV
The Journal Communications (NYSE:JRN) broadcast division has agreed to buy KNIN-TV in Boise, Idaho for $8 million. The Milwaukee-based media group already owns the local ABC affiliate in the city, KIVI-TV, making for a TV duopoly in the market