Media General battling economic headwinds


Media General isn’t saying much about Q4 TV pacings, except that revenues will not match 2006, which included 34 million of political spending. However, CEO Marshall Morton says local revenues will exceed Q4 of last year. Yes, Media General is starting to see some spending for the 2008 election already. And he notes that the company is pursuing opportunities to grab some of the political pie for its online operations.
For Q3, Media General reported that TV revenues were down 3.5% to 91 million. That was due to political revenues of only 2.5 million, compare to 11.5 million a year ago. Local ad sales were up 3.2%. Broadcast Division profits declined 26.2% to 16.2 million.

Newspaper revenues declined 6.7% to 131.5 million, with ad revenues down 8.3%. Publishing Division profits were down 7.4% to 22 million.

The star revenue performer was online. Interactive Media Division revenues shot up 31.9% to 9.7 million. Excluding a 2.3 million write-down for an investment in a company that produces interactive entertainment, the division posted a quarterly loss of 1.1 million.