Gannett reported television revenue of $233 million in the third quarter, up a booming 38.1% from the same quarter a year ego.
Operating revenues were 36% percent higher in the quarter for the entire Broadcast division, which includes Gannett's Captivate elevator network, and totaled $237 million. Ad spending associated with the Summer Olympics on Gannett's NBC affiliates and significantly higher political spending paced the revenue growth, said Gannett, as did retransmission consent deals, which were up 11.5% in the quarter.
Television station digital revenues were 6.4% higher than in the third quarter of 2011.
"We are extremely pleased to report strong results and a return to revenue growth," said Gracia Martore, president and CEO of Gannett. "We achieved record third quarter results in our Broadcasting segment. Our TV stations leveraged top 10 ratings positions and a more locally focused sales effort to generate substantially higher Olympic spending. Through strong ratings and a great footprint, they also maximized the opportunity to attract political spending."
Gannett's total operating revenues in the third quarter were $1.31 billion, up 3.4% over the prior year's third quarter. Publishing segment revenues were off 3% percent reflecting softer advertising demand, partially offset by a 5.6% increase in circulation revenue due to what Gannett called "the positive impact of the all access content subscription model."
"Our results this quarter demonstrate that the growth strategy we announced in February is gaining traction," added Martore. "Our all access content subscription model has been rolled out in 71 markets and is delivering the circulation revenue gains we anticipated."
Digital segment operating revenues totaled $182 million in the quarter, an increase of 4.7%.
Gannett forecasted fourth quarter television revenue to be in the "very high-twenties."