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Media General Reports Preliminary 2Q

Media General (NYSE:MEG) TV stations made money for the company in the second quarter, but not as much as a year ago. The 20-station broadcast division of the Richmond, Va., media group generated $14.9 million in profit on $82.4 million in revenue for the quarter ending June 30, compared to $18 million on $87.4 million a year ago.

“Weak national and local time sales were partially offset by $2.8 million in political revenues,” Media General“s earnings release stated.

Gross time sales declined 5 percent to $4.5 million, or 5 percent. Local was down $1.2 million, or 2.2 percent, affected by diminished spending in furniture and entertainment, but partially offset by growth in spending by car dealerships and fast-food restaurants. National was down nearly 16 percent, to $5.3 million, due to a cutback from car makers and the service sector. Conversely, transportation and drug store advertising increased on the national level.

Political advertising generated $2.8 million in revenues compared with $745,000 in the “07 quarter. This quarter“s political primarily was generated from presidential campaign spending in Ohio, Florida, North and South Carolina, gubernatorial primary spending in North Carolina, U.S. Congressional races in North and South Carolina, Virginia and Ohio, and issue spending in Ohio, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Rhode Island.

Overall, Media General expects to post a loss of $1.4 million for the quarter, compared to a profit of $4.3 million last year. Total revenues across all platforms--TV, newspapers and online--were $204.9 million, down more than 10 percent from last year. Media General said it is completing impairment testing and is expected to take a non-cash impairment charge of between $500 million and $550 million in its final 2Q results, due at the Securities and Exchange Commission by Aug. 8.