Media General reported operating income of $16.3 million in the second quarter, a 19% increase from the same quarter last year. Broadcast revenues were up 13% from last year's second quarter, thanks to a nearly 42% increase in automotive spending.
Media General, which owns 18 stations, credited $7 million in political advertising for stoking the company's overall growth. "The [operating income] increase mostly reflected the benefit of political advertising at the company's television stations," it said in a statement.
President/CEO Marshall N. Morton was pleased with the performance. "We continue to manage expenses aggressively. In the second quarter, our expense performance was somewhat better than expectations, due to lower health care expenses and to intentional delays in hiring for certain open positions," he said.
Total digital media revenues increased 8% in the second quarter.
Media General is forecasting total revenue to grow 6-8% in the third quarter, with the TV stations again leading the way. Broadcasting revenues are expected to increase 20% in the third quarter.
In addition to its local TV holdings, Media General owns over 200 newspapers and publications.