Signs of the Times


Media General said that holding year-over-year losses for the month of August to a mere -4.4% was its best showing of the year. MG actually had a great month in its broadcast division. It rode strong political income and the Olympics on its eight NBC affiliates to a positive +11.7% gain; its interactive division also was up +13.7%. However, it is also in the newspaper business, and a –16.6 performance there was enough to drag the bottom line number down to that red -4.4% we previously mentioned. On the downer side, execs said there seems to be no relief in store for its publishing operations, and its broadcast transactional business is also weaker than expected. Meanwhile, the New York Times reported a year-to-year loss of -8.8%. After selling off its television group, its lone broadcast operation is WQRX-FM in New York.

RBR/TVBR observation: As tough sledding as it is for broadcasters right now, it’s worse across town at the local newspaper. That is scant consolation, but it’s something.