Q3 looking better than Q2 at Journal


Television revenues are pacing up in the mid-teens for Q3, after declining 4.3% in Q2 at Journal Communications, although radio and publishing are pacing down again. Radio revenues were off 5% in Q2. CEO Steve Smith insists that the company is strong financially and he’s expanding and training sales forces in both broadcast and print, while cutting operating costs where possible.

“Looking to the second half of the year, we anticipate positive revenue trends driven by political and issue and Olympics advertising spending at our television business,” Smith said in his conference call with analysts.

But first, he had to deal with the bad news from Q2. “The economy continued to impact advertising revenues at Journal Communications during the second quarter. While television revenue grew in markets like Palm Springs, Omaha, Boise and Lansing and radio revenue grew in Omaha, our larger growth markets continued to experience subdued advertiser spending. Publishing revenue remained soft overall, although our hyper-local community newspapers surrounding Milwaukee grew revenue in the quarter. We were also pleased to see continued increases in online advertising revenues at both the publishing and broadcast sites. Total online revenue was up 15.9% in the second quarter to approximately $4.7 million,” Smith said. He was also upbeat about developmental revenue, which grew 8% for TV and 3% for radio in Q2.

Q2 revenues for Journal Broadcast Group were down 4.6% to $53.5 million. Broadcast operating earnings fell 14.1% to $11.3 million. TV revenues were off 4.3% to $32.6 million and operating earnings declined 24.4% to $4.6 million. Radio revenues fell 5% to $20.9 million and operating earnings declined 2.2% to $5.1 million.

Publishing revenues dropped 8.5% to $61.8 million and operating earnings from the publishing division declined 44% to $5.7 million.

For Q3 “Journal Communications currently anticipates that its publishing revenues will be down compared to the prior year period, reflecting continued challenges in classified advertising, partially offset by continued growth in commercial printing and interactive at the daily newspaper. Television revenues are expected to be up in the low double digit range compared to the prior year period primarily due to political and issue and Olympics advertising. Radio revenues are expected to be slightly down compared to the prior year period,” the company said.