Media General reported a net loss for the first quarter of $6.5 million, compared to net income of $6.7 million in the first quarter last year . The results include pretax charges of $1 million for severance costs related to staff reductions in publishing. The results also include the four NBC stations Media General acquired last June.
President and CEO Marshall Morton blamed broadcasting and publishing for the weak results. "In the Broadcast Division, continued soft Local and National transactional sales reflected lower spending by automotive advertisers," he stated. "In addition, Broadcast’s 2006 results included revenues from the Winter Olympics that were not present this year."
Broadcast Division profit declined $4 million for the quarter, or 33.2%. Morton lamented the NBC stations’ "weak quarter," and said retooling the sales training would help. Total Broadcast revenues grew 30.5% to $84.3 million.
Media General owns 23 stations across the Southeastern U.S., and a host of newspapers.