Media General narrows loss

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Media General narrowed its first-quarter loss as broadcast revenues improved, and the company cut expenses.

The company reported a loss of $16.7 million, compared with a loss of $21.3 million in the first quarter of 2009. Operating income improved during the quarter to $8.7 million compared with an $11.6 million loss last year, but a higher interest expense after the company’s refinancing last year and increased non-cash income tax created a loss for the quarter.

Overall, revenues remained steady at $159 million. Broadcast revenues were up 12.1 percent with a boost from the Winter Olympics and political spending. Digital revenues were up 9.8 percent, including a 2 percent increase in classified advertising. Print revenues fell 9.4 percent.

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