When you double the size of your group, it stands to reason that you might double your earnings as well. Media General, having absorbed the LIN Media group, reported first quarter revenues of $296.7 million, 106% more than the $143.9 million the pre-LIN merger Media General reported in the first quarter of 2014. On a comparable basis to the prior year, taking LIN out of the equation, net revenues increased 3% to $297 million despite the absence of political and Olympic advertising. Local revenues, which include retransmission consent fees, increased 10% while national revenues decreased 4%.
“We launched the new year as a newly merged company delivering record first quarter results,” said Vincent Sadusky, president and CEO. “We continue to make progress on our integration and synergy efforts, add depth to our leadership team and execute on a number of strategic initiatives in order to drive shareholder value creation.”
The company completed its merger with LIN December 19, 2014. Media General has also added stations in Tampa and Colorado Springs, and had previously acquired another in Harrisburg, Pa.
Digital revenues increased 514% to $30 million in the quarter. Operating income was $21 million, compared to $19 million in the prior year.
Media General expects second quarter net revenues to increase 1%-4%, primarily as a result of higher pay-TV subscriber fees.