At its one-year anniversary, Tegna is reporting media revenues were up 10% in the second quarter of 2016 over the year before, primarily due to political and retransmission money.
The division’s total Q2 revenue of roughly $459 million included $10.2 million in political dollars, up 273% from the same period of time in 2015. Retransmission revenue rose 33% to $145.8 million, according to the company.
Tegna credited the company’s 7% increase in total revenue to that growth in its media division, as well as a 4% increase in digital monies.
In the company’s earnings call Tuesday, execs said the successes of the first two quarters of 2016 bodes well for more.
“We are confident that spending will ramp up in the back half of the year,” Dave Lougee, president of Tegna Media. Roughly 80-85% of spending is done in the five weeks leading up to the general election, he said.
“That’s when candidates really feel pressure to grab voters,” he said.
Lougee said he doesn’t expect this polarizing election season to hurt affiliates’ political take.
He said he expects Republicans who don’t support Donald Trump to put their money into other campaigns – senatorial, gubernatorial and the like. He also said Tegna is well positioned in states with highlight contested elections including Ohio, Florida, Michigan and Colorado.
“We are in the states that matter most,” Lougee said. There also may be unexpected presidential spending in states like Georgia, where the candidates are close in the polls, he said.
Gracia Martore, Tegna president and CEO, said NBC affiliates are also seeing a boost from “robust advertising” from the Olympics.
She said she is pleased with the progress the company has made in the year since Gannett spun off its publishing division.
“We remain on track overall toward achieving the goals we referred to,” she said.