Gannett TV looking up in Q1 of 2011


Despite tough comps, Gannett is still projecting that broadcasting revenues will be up in Q1 of 2011 over last year’s quarter fueled by lots of special events that won’t return this year.

Gannett has lots of NBC affiliates, who carried the Olympics last year. It also has several CBS stations, who carried the Super Bowl last year, but not a single Fox affiliate for next week’s big game. And, of course, last year’s political spending won’t be around this year. Even so, Gannett President Gracia Martore told analysts that Q1 TV revenues should still be up over 2010.

“Looking to the first quarter of 2011, we may face some headwinds in comparison to our combined revenue success of last year The biggest, of course, is the Winter Olympic Games, which generated almost $19 million in ad demand on our  NBC affiliated stations. We also enjoyed election-related advertising of $3.3 million and a little over $2 million related to the Super Bowl on our CBS stations. As you know, the Super Bowl will be on Fox this year. Still, solid core advertising in the fourth quarter and particularly for December, which was not impacted by the displacing effect of political spending, bodes well for the first quarter. Despite the level of ad revenue that will be absent relative to the first quarter of last year, given current trends we expect total television revenue to be up in the very low single digits,” Martore said Monday (1/31).