Media General reported total revenues in the first quarter
of $73.9 million, flat with the $74.2 million in last year's first quarter.
Operating income was $5.8 million, up 28% over the same quarter in 2012. Net
loss in the quarter was $17.7 million, compared with a net loss of $34.4
million in the prior year.
Media General was a broadcast and newspaper company in the
first quarter of last year, but sold the bulk of its papers last May, and the
final one in October. The move to a pure-play broadcaster allowed Media General
to make cuts in corporate costs.
"The increase in operating income reflected a 35%
reduction in corporate and other expenses, as well as disciplined expense
management by our stations," said George L. Mahoney, president and CEO.
"After becoming a pure-play broadcaster last year, one of the significant,
very early steps we took was to reduce the size of our corporate structure,
which had been scaled to serve both newspapers and television stations."
Political revenues in the first quarter totaled $507,000.
Mahoney said the "near absence" of political spending in the quarter
was mostly offset by higher retransmission (55%) and digital (18%) revenues.
Core local and national revenues, excluding the impact of
Super Bowl revenues in both years, increased approximately 1%.
Media General's total operating costs in the
first quarter, $68.2 million, decreased 2.2% from the prior year, mainly due to
the reduction in corporate expense. Station production expenses increased 6.5%,
mainly due to an increase in NBC affiliate fees.