Even years events will fuel second-half Media General growth


Media GeneralMedia General is already raking in the cash from politicians and political organizations, and that business only figures to heat up as the general election season begins. Oh, and they’re also holding the Olympics this summer.

The company is talking to potential buyers for the last of its newspaper holdings in Tampa, but at this point it has no timeline to offer and little to say other than it thinks that a deal will be done at some point.

As far as station trading plans go, President/CEO Marshall N. Morton said said the company has no plans to sell stations, and isn’t expecting to buy any in the near term either as it focuses on getting its debt profile in shape. However, it would consider a strategic exchange of television properties, or take on more stations via the SSA route.

MG offered the following guidance highlights:

* Political revenues are expected to be approximately $50 million for the full year 2012.

* Summer Olympics revenues are expected to exceed the $12.5 million generated from the 2008 summer games.

* Broadcast pacings for the third quarter of 2012, including Political, are approximately 30% ahead of last year. Core pacings, excluding Political, are approximately 20% ahead of last year. Key categories driving core growth are auto, entertainment, financial, media, professional services, grocery and travel.

* The company has a plan, underway now, to reduce corporate expense 35-40%.

* For the full year 2012, the company expects that cash provided by operations will be used to make interest payments of $65 million, capital expenditures of $15 million and retirement plan contributions of $13 million.