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Journal Broadcast Revenues Rise

MILWAUKEE: Shares of Journal Communications rose today on the media company’s first-quarter results. Shares climbed 13 percent to more than $6 by mid-afternoon.

Journal’s publishing, printing and broadcast operations yielded consolidated revenues of $98.5 million, down 3 percent from $101.5 million last year. Net earnings were $5.3 million compared to $121,000 last year. Earnings per share were 9 cents compared to analyst expectations of 7 cents.

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.

The TV stations are part of Journal’s broadcast division that includes 33 radio stations. The full division posted $7.7 million in operating profit on $42.6 million in revenues, up from $1.7 million on $39.2 million.

Local ad revenues were up less than 1 percent; national feel by 2.3 percent. Olympics generated $2.2 million for the division. Total political was $700,000 versus $100,000 last year. Retransmission consent contributed $1.6 million versus $1.3 million a year ago.

Journal (NYSE: JRN) reduced its debt by $16.7 million in the quarter, after paying it down by $63 million in 2009. Cash and equivalents as of March 28 totaled $2.6 million. Long-term bank debt was $134.6 million.

-- Deborah D. McAdams

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.