Local TV

Media General Revenue Down 1%

Lack of political spend drags down second quarter for expanding broadcast group 8/08/2013 09:53:25 AM Eastern

Media General reported total station revenues in the second quarter of $82 million, down 1% from the $83 million it recorded in the prior year. Political revenues decreased 86% in the quarter. Cable and satellite retransmission revenue increased 38%, while digital revenues grew 17%.

Core revenue was up 1%, reported Media General.

The broadcaster's total gross revenues, excluding political, increased 4.7%.

In June, Media General and Young Broadcasting announced a merger.

Operating income was $5 million, compared with $17 million in the second quarter of 2012. The year-over-year decrease was due in large part, said Media General, to two significant expenses in the quarter: $7.2 million of merger-related costs and $3.7 million of additional expense, due to the effect of a higher stock price on stock-based compensation plans.

Net loss in the second quarter was $16 million.

"Our stations are doing a good job this year replacing last year's robust political revenues with new revenue initiatives and business development programs," said George Mahoney, president and CEO. "Additionally, our largest category, automotive advertising, grew 5.5% in the second quarter. Station revenues also reflected higher retransmission revenue this year and growth in digital revenues."

Station expenses increased 4.6%, due in part to additional network affiliation fees.

Mahoney said the merger with Young Broadcasting was expected to be completed in late third or early fourth quarter. Media General refinanced the two group's combined debt "at a significantly lower cost of capital."

Retransmission revenues for the full 2013 are expected to increase approximately 47% from 2012.

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