The addition of Belo Corporation and London Broadcasting television stations led to a 105% gain in broadcast revenue, and on a pro forma basis it was still an impressive 19%. Core local and national advertising was actually slightly down, by a factor of 3%, but surging political, retransmission and other income sources produced the very positive quarter.
Total broadcast income for the came in at $416.5M.
In Q4, Gannett said it expects broadcast to produce an income gain in excess of 115% and in the low 20s on a pro forma basis.
Looking at results as a whole, Gracia Martore, president and chief executive officer, said, “We made great progress again this quarter, both in the outstanding performance of our businesses and the continued transformation of the Gannett portfolio. Year-over-year revenue comparisons for each of our business segments improved relative to second quarter comparisons, just as we anticipated. Double digit pro forma growth in Broadcasting revenue, which again reached a record high, was driven by robust political ad spending and retransmission revenue. Strong results at CareerBuilder resulted in a substantial increase in profitability in our Digital Segment. We also successfully completed our acquisition of Cars.com earlier this month, which paves the way for our announced separation. Cars.com is a strong company with tremendous upside that offers significant value to its growing customer base and will contribute considerably to our Digital business.”
Martore continued, “Gannett drove increases in both overall company revenue and free cash flow this quarter. As both metrics continue to grow, it gives us even greater confidence that our businesses are well positioned to compete fiercely in their respective markets. Broadcasting, Digital and Publishing are all continually innovating and expanding their product offerings, with the support of a strong balance sheet. We expect to build on our current momentum during the fourth quarter with the addition of Cars.com and the continued successful execution of our strategies.”