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Earnings report: Media General revenue up on political, Olympics advertising

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Media General Inc. (MEG): Richmond: Third quarter results

THE TAKE: Media General Inc., now a broadcast and digital company after selling its newspaper interests earlier this year, reported a 42 percent increase in revenues, primarily based on increases in political advertising and advertising during the Olympics. The company’s net loss widened during the quarter because of special items, including debt extinguishment costs and discontinued operations.

THE NUMBERs

Revenue:  $93.8 million for the quarter, compared with $66.1 million last year.
Operating income:  $22.5 million, up from $4.8 million in third quarter 2011
Net income: Loss of $30.3 million, compared with a loss of $29.8 million in third quarter 2011
Diluted earnings per share: Loss widened to $1.34 per share, from $1.32 per share last year
Special items: The quarter included $17.3 million of debt extinguishment costs and a loss of $11.9 million related to discontinued operations. The third quarter of 2011 included a newspaper impairment writedown reflected in discontinued operations.

The company’s take: Marshall N. Morton, president and CEO of Media General: “Operating income was more than four times last year, mostly driven by a nearly 42 percent increase in revenues. Political revenues totaled nearly $20 million and reflected the strong positions of our television stations in their markets and the presence of six Media General stations in presidential battleground states.  Our eight NBC stations generated a record $15.5 million of revenues from the Summer Olympics, capitalizing on record viewership for the London games.  Gross time sales, excluding political revenues, increased 16.8 percent in the third quarter, reflecting growth in several major advertising categories and the strength of the Olympics advertising.”


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