Journal Broadcast Revenue Down 18%

Auto ads down 49% in Q2; no signs of recovery

Journal Communications reported second quarter broadcast revenue of $43.8 million, down 18.2% from the same quarter last year. The drop was due to a 16.3% slip in local revenue and 34.8% plummet in national revenue.

Retransmission revenue was $1 million, up from $.4 million in last year's second quarter.

Journal's broadcast division includes TV and radio. The TV stations posted $26.7 million in revenue for the quarter, down 18.2% from the same quarter last year. Radio revenue was down 18.1%.

Overall, Milwaukee-based Journal Communications reported revenue of $109.4 million, down 21.9% from the second quarter of 2008.

The company said it expects overall revenues to be down in the third quarter, but did not quantify it.
"While the advertising environment remains challenged, we recorded positive operating earnings in the second quarter excluding the $19.0 million non-cash impairment charge. We were also able to reduce debt by $22 million in the second quarter to bring our total debt down to $178 million," said Journal Communications Chairman/CEO Steven J. Smith. "We have been able to trim our debt by $37 million in the first two quarters of 2009. We continue to aggressively cut expenses in the face of reduced revenue."
Smith said auto, real estate and retail advertising has been hit hard. "In the second quarter, automotive advertising was down 49% in broadcasting and 56% in the daily newspaper. We have yet to see signs of a sustained recovery," he said. "Our businesses continue to focus on cash generation by maximizing our share of the advertising dollars in our local markets while seeking both traditional and non-traditional ways to enhance our advertising customers' ability to reach their target audiences."
Journal owns 13 TV stations, 35 radio stations, and over 50 newspapers.