Media General, showing vitality as a pure-play broadcaster,
reported fourth-quarter revenues of $108.7 million, up 40% from the same
quarter the year before. Political advertising was good for $30 million, while
core advertising grew 4%.
Media General's operating income of $42.3 million eclipsed
the $16.3 million it reported in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The company sold its newspapers last year, the bulk of the
bunch to Berkshire Hathaway, and the Tampa
Tribune to Revolution Capital Group.
George L. Mahoney, president and chief executive officer,
called the earnings "exceptional."
"Media General was particularly well positioned to
maximize political advertising opportunities, with six of our stations located
in four of the key battleground states," he said. "Broadcast cash
flow in the fourth quarter was $50.4 million, with a margin of 46%."
Cable and satellite retransmission fees rose 84.3% to $9.9
million. Digital revenues increased 18.8% to $2.7 million, driven primarily by
local advertising, which grew 16%.
Media General's higher station operating costs in the fourth
quarter reflected, in part, increased fees for an NBC affiliation.