Newly expanded Media General reported fourth quarter net revenues of $217 million, up 97% from the same quarter in the prior year. Operating income was $39 million, compared to $10 million in the prior year’s fourth quarter. The gains were primarily driven by political advertising revenues, higher subscription-TV subscriber fees and continued growth in digital revenues, said Media General. The $2.6 billion merger with LIN closed on Dec. 19, so only a fraction of the fourth quarter was affected by the former LIN stations.
“It is remarkable to think that in just over a year, the company has grown from 18 television stations in 17 markets to 71 television stations in 48 markets,” said Vincent Sadusky, president and CEO. “Media General did an excellent job integrating the Young Broadcasting television stations and over-achieving on its synergies.”
Affecting fourth quarter 2013 numbers, Media General and Young Broadcasting merged in an all-stock merger transaction on Nov. 12, 2013.
Media General’s broadcast cash flow increased 131% to $96 million in the fourth quarter.
Media General also reported “Supplemental Combined Company Financial Information,” showing the historical financial results of Young, LIN Media and Media General on a combined basis net revenues by that measure increased 22% to $412 million in the fourth quarter.
On a same station basis, Media General expects net revenues for the first quarter of 2015 to be far more modest, increasing in the range of 1% to 3%, primarily as a result of higher pay-TV subscriber fees and digital revenues.
“We are excited about the new Media General’s growth prospects, and we are focused on our successful integration, achieving our synergy goals and leveraging our great scale and footprint to advance our strategic content and digital initiatives,” said Sadusky.