Tribune reported first quarter consolidated revenues of $852.2 million, up 21% from the previous first quarter. Nearly all of the increased revenue came from Tribune’s acquisition of Local TV.
Broadcasting revenues were $398.4 million in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 67% over the first quarter of 2013. Taking Local TV out of the equation, broadcasting revenues were $398.4 million in the first quarter, a 7.9% increase. Retransmission consent revenues grew 88% while advertising revenues ticked up 1.2%.
Publishing segment revenues in the first quarter were $453.8 million, a drop of 2.6% due to declines in advertising revenue and in revenues from commercial printing and delivery services.
“In the first quarter of 2014 we demonstrated early signs of the strength of our new broadcast scale,” said Peter Liguori, president and CEO, Tribune Co. “As a consolidated business with the Local TV stations, revenues generated by retransmission consent fees hit an all-time high for the company—growing 88% compared to last year. We are also encouraged by the activity we are seeing in the political landscape and its prospects for advertising for the second half of 2014.”
On the cable side, Liguori singled out high ratings for Salem on WGN America, and said print’s outlook is positive. “Our newspapers continued to deliver very good results in a challenging environment, and we are confident in the prospects for that business as we move closer to spinning it off from Tribune Company,” he said. “We remain focused on achieving our objective to drive profitable growth in each of our businesses."