Media General TV Revenue Up 12%

Broadcast drives the good news at newspaper/TV station giant
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Media General reported first quarter television revenue of $73.4 million, 12% higher than the first quarter a year ago. Media General cited political advertising and retransmission fees as factors in the improvement.

The company reported $3.2 million of operating income for the first quarter, compared with an operating loss of $4.2 million in the 2011 first quarter, excluding a noncash impairment charge of $10 million in the current quarter.

"The operating improvement is primarily the result of increased profits at our broadcast television stations, as they generated 12% revenue growth from increased political revenues and higher retransmission fees," said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer. "Broadcast platform cash flow margin increased from 25% last year to 32% this year.

"Print cash flow increased nearly 30% as our newspapers offset revenue decreases with expense reductions and we realized a significant benefit from the reengineering we implemented at The Tampa Tribune in late 2011," Morton continued. "Total company operating costs, excluding impairment, decreased 4.5%, as a result of our continued aggressive cost management."

Morton said all of Media General's geographic markets generated profit improvements over last year.

Media General's net loss in the first quarter of 2012 was $34 million. Total revenues in the first quarter of $150 million were virtually flat with last year's performance.

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