Journal Comm's Broadcast Revenue Down 6.4%

"Continued deterioration" of ad market drags down media co.

Journal Communications reported $53.1 million in broadcasting revenue for the fourth quarter, a 6.4% drop from the previous fourth quarter. Revenue at Journal's 12 TV stations dropped 5.5% to $33.4 million, with $6.1 million of it political advertising. Journal's radio station revenue was down 7.8%.

Overall broadcasting revenue was down 3.8% for the full 2008.

The Milwaukee-based company's overall fourth quarter revenue was $134.3 million, down 9% from the fourth quarter in 2007. The net loss was $223 million, which included a $228.7 million after-tax non-cash impairment charge for goodwill and certain television and radio broadcast licenses and a $0.7 million after-tax charge for our workforce reductions. This compares to net earnings of $9.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

"The overall economic environment and continued deterioration of advertising expenditures in Journal markets impacted our business in the fourth quarter causing lower revenue across all segments," said Journal Communications Chairman/CEO Steven J. Smith. "While economic challenges compound the ongoing changes in our industry, we remain focused on building audiences and serving our customers in our local markets. At the same time, we are looking at all expenditures in our business, reducing expenses wherever feasible. We are leaner as we reduced our cost platforms to better align all of our costs with our revenues."

Smith said his 2009 priorities include "maximization of cash generation and identification of new sources of revenue. We will continue to focus on expense reduction and cost control and we expect to use our cash to further reduce debt."