Media General Broadcast Revenue Up 12%
Company sees sustainable momentum as political cash beckons
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/21/2010 10:16:40 AM
Media General reported total revenues of $158.9 million, essentially flat with last year. Total operating costs decreased 12%; the company had around 600 fewer employees in the 2010 first quarter than it did in the 2009 first quarter.
Digital revenues were up 9.8% in the first quarter.
"We benefited from strong advertising sales during the Winter Olympics and March Madness, and political spending began to ramp up," said Media General President/CEO Marshall N. Morton. "We also benefited from our lower cost structure. These factors together produced a turnaround in segment operating profit: income of $19.4 million this year, compared with a loss of $780,000 last year. Every segment contributed to this improvement."
Morton said the broadcast division "has very strong momentum" that he expects to continue. "Broadcast revenues are expected to increase by about the same rate as the first quarter," the company said in a statement, "based on stronger political spending as state primaries begin."
In January, Media General reported a 17% decline in revenue in the fourth quarter 2009.
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