Gannett reported television revenue of $170.9 million in the first quarter, up 7.9% from the same quarter a year ago. Automotive advertising, ads from the Super Bowl and an increase of $3.8 million in political spots paced Gannett to the positive broadcast results.
Total adjusted television revenues, excluding the impact of political advertising, were up 5.6%.
Gannett forecasted TV revenue to up in the high single digits in the second quarter.
Total operating revenues for the company in the first quarter totaled $1.22 billion, a decline of 2.6%.
Publishing segment operating revenues in the quarter were $874.1 million, compared to $929.8 million in the first quarter last year, reflecting soft advertising demand.
"Our first quarter results were impacted by spending on strategic investments and advertising softness, particularly during January's industry-wide slowdown," said Gracia Martore, president and CEO of Gannett. "Improving advertising activity in February and March, while encouraging, did not overcome the slow start to the year. Importantly, each of our businesses remained solidly profitable, and our broadcasting and digital segments delivered strong revenue growth of 8% and 7%, respectively. Digital revenue growth of 13% in our publishing segment underscored the success we are achieving in establishing the robust content and advertising platforms that will power our renewed growth."