Journal 2Q TV Revenues Rise 10 Percent

MILWAUKEE: Journal Communications TV stations pulled in $29.3 million for the second quarter, up 10 percent from $26.7 million in 2Q09.

Television political and issue advertising revenue was $1.7 million compared to $400,000 a year ago. Retransmission revenue was $1.6 million compared to $1 million. Operating earnings were $5.4 million compared to $2 million in 2Q09, excluding a $14.8 million impairment charge the previous quarter on broadcast licenses.

Television operating expenses decreased 3 percent, excluding the ’09 impairment “due to the reduction in employee-related costs and in syndicated programming expense as we move to more local television programming,” Journal said.

Combined revenues for the print, publishing and broadcaster operations were $104.3 million for the quarter ending June 27, 2010. Operating earnings were $14.4 million compared to an operating loss of $9.5 million last year on the $19 million impairment.

Net earnings were $8.1 million compared to a net loss of $4.8 million.

“We also reduced our debt during the quarter by another $16.9 million," said Steve Smith, chairman and CEO of Journal said the company reduced it’s debt by $16.9 million in the quarter.

“While the economic recovery seems to be somewhat uneven across the country, we were encouraged by the operating results for the quarter at most of our local markets including Sun Belt markets like Nevada and Florida,” he said. “Broadcast revenue increased as automotive advertising was up 31 percent compared to the prior year, and we recorded $1.9 million in political and issue advertising.... As we look ahead, developing our digital business and enhancing our local market content in order to grow audiences and build new advertising revenues remain a priority for us.”

Journal expects publishing and printing to be down in the third quarter compared to last year, while broadcast results are expected to improve.

The company finished the quarter with cash and equivalents of $2.7 million compared to $3.4 million Dec. 27, 2009. Its debt was $117.8 million, 1.6x the trailing four quarters of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Journal said it was “in the process of extending our existing credit facility on a long-term basis and expect to finalize the agreement in the near future.”

Shares of Journal (NYSE: JRN) rose nearly 5 percent today to trade at $4. Year-to-date increase is around 3 percent.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

April 20, 2010
: “Journal Broadcast Revenues Rise”
Journal’s 13 TV stations (plus one under local marketing agreement) generated $28.4 million compared to $26 million in 1Q09. Operating profit was $5.1 million compared to $600,000 a year ago.

February 11, 2010: “Journal Communications Swings to Profit
Shares of Journal Communications posted a 13 percent gain today as the company swung to a fourth-quarter profit on lower revenues.