Media General announced net operating revenue of $154.1 million in the second quarter, up 11.8% from the second quarter of 2013. Operating income increased to $22 million, compared to operating income of $13.1 million in the second quarter of 2013, while broadcast cash flow increased 20% to $56.3 million.
The earnings reflect the Media General-Young Broadcasting merger from November 2013.
“It was another outstanding quarter,” said Media General president and CEO George L. Mahoney. “As we promised when the Young transaction was announced, we’re generating meaningful incremental free cash flow and reducing debt.”
“Comparing combined results for the second quarter of this year and last year, we generated very strong increases for net operating revenue, operating income, net income, broadcast cash flow, EBITDA and free cash flow,” Mahoney continued. “Net operating revenue increased nearly 12%, driven by higher political, retransmission, digital and local revenues and despite lower national revenues.”
Media General’s local gross time sales increased 1.8% to $81.1 million in the quarter. National gross time sales decreased 12.9% to $35 million. Retransmission revenues grew 49.1% to $35 million while digital time sales rose 32.8% to $6.5 million.
In May, Media General completed the sale of its KRON San Francisco building for $24.5 million, most of which was applied to pay down debt.
In March, Media General announced plans to merge with LIN Media in a transaction that will more than double the size of Media General. The marriage should be completed in early 2015, subject to regulatory approvals.