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Earnings

Q1 Earnings: Tribune Broadcasting Revenues Up 67%

tribune broadcastingTribune Broadcasting revenues were $398.4 million in the first quarter of 2014, a 67% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

The station group reported $55.6 million in retransmission revenues for the quarter, up 88% from Q1 2013. Advertising revenues were $304.3 million, up 1.2% year-over-year.

“In the first quarter of 2014 we demonstrated early signs of the strength of our new broadcast scale. As a consolidated business with the Local TV stations, revenues generated by  retransmission consent fees hit an all-time high for the Company,” Tribune CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement. “…We are also encouraged by the activity we are seeing in the political landscape and its prospects for advertising for the second half of 2014.”

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Q1 Earnings: Sinclair Broadcast Revenues Up 48%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported $373.9 million in net broadcast revenues for the first quarter of 2014, a 47.8% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $81 million, up 27.2% from the prior year period. Political revenues were $6.1 million compared to $0.9 million in the first quarter of 2013. Sinclair reports $8.2 million in revenues generated by the Super Bowl, and $3.7 million in revenues generated by the Sochi Olympics.

“There were many positives in the first quarter that reflect our solid underlying fundamentals, despite the slower than usual start to the year due to the impact of the severe and frigid weather in many of our markets,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “The first quarter benefited from incremental Super Bowl, Olympic and retransmission consent fee revenues, while political revenues exceeded expectations. We also benefited from lower television operating expenses across many of our stations. Our main focus now is on closing the Allbritton station acquisition and lobbying to reform broadcast ownership regulatory inequality.”

Q1 Earnings: Media General Net Operating Revenue Up 16%

media generalMedia General reported $144 million in net operating revenue for the first quarter of 2014, a 16% increase on the year-ago quarter. It was the first full quarter for the combined Media General and Young Broadcasting.

The company reported an increase in core local and national gross time sales, as well as automotive and telecommunications advertising. Media General stations “generated significant revenue” during the Sochi Winter Olympics and the NCAA Basketball tournament.

“Political revenues of $4.4 million were more than five times last year’s level, as we benefited especially from the race in Florida’s 13th congressional district, near Tampa. Also, retransmission consent revenues grew nearly 50%, and digital media revenues rose 33%,” Media General president and CEO George L. Mahoney said in a statement.

Q1 Earnings: LIN Media Net Revenues Up 18%

lin media logoLIN Media reported $166.2 million in net revenues for the first quarter of 2014, an 18% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Local revenues, which include net local advertising revenues, retransmission consent fee revenues and station website revenues, were up 9% for the quarter. Net national revenues, net political revenues and operating income were also up.

“Our results were driven by an increase in television advertising, higher pay-television subscriber fees and significant growth in digital revenues, which now comprise 15% of our net revenues and has its own reportable segment,” LIN Media president and CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said in a statement. “Our diverse group of assets helped us maximize revenues from the winter Olympics and the Super Bowl and achieve the high end of our first quarter revenue guidance. I am excited about the expansion of our digital portfolio with the addition of Federated Media and the future scale and synergy opportunities from the pending merger with Media General.”

Q1 Earnings: Meredith Local Media Group Revenue Up 14%

meredith_1Meredith Corp. reported $98 million in local media group revenues during the first quarter of 2014, a 14% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating profit was up 11% to $27 million. According to Meredith, growth “was driven by increased retransmission-related revenues and strong performance from Meredith television stations in Nashville, Phoenix and Las Vegas.” Non-political advertising and digital advertising both increased, as did operating expenses.

“We’re pleased to deliver another quarter of record operating results,” Local Media Group President Paul Karpowicz said in a statement.  “We’re excited to have KMOV in St. Louis as part of the Meredith portfolio.  KMOV’s addition – along with improving non-political advertising, growth in digital advertising and an anticipated robust political advertising cycle – point to a strong calendar 2014 for our business.”

Q1 Earnings: Gannett Same-Station Revenue Up 19.6%

gannett logoGannett Co. reported a 19.6% increase in broadcasting revenues on a same-station basis for the first quarter of 2014.

The station group reported a 6.5% increase in core revenues, driven by $41 million of advertising associated with the Sochi Winter Olympics. This was partially offset by the loss of Super Bowl revenues that aired on CBS stations in the first quarter of 2013.

On a same-station basis, retransmission revenues were up 66.4%, totaling $87.5 million for the quarter. Political ad revenue was also up for the quarter, as were digital revenues in the broadcast segment.

“An outstanding performance by our new broadcast stations fueled double-digit increases in both revenue and profitability in our Broadcast Segment and contributed to total company pro forma revenue growth and a robust level of free cash flow in the first quarter,” Gannett CEO Gracia Martore said in a statement. “Our Broadcast group achieved exceptional ratings, particularly throughout the Sochi Winter Games as Gannett stations took the top two spots in prime time and in every Olympic day-part among major market NBC stations.”

Q4 Earnings: Tribune Broadcasting Revenue Drops 11%

tribune broadcastingTribune Co. reported broadcasting revenues of $267 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, an 11% drop compared to the $303 million in broadcasting revenues for the year-ago quarter.

The company attributed the decline to a $14 million drop in political advertising revenues in the off-election year and a $10 million decrease in barter revenues due to a decline in the estimated value of barter programming. The losses were partially offset by a $7 million increase in retransmission revenue, according to Tribune.

“Broadcasting revenue trends during the first three quarters were disappointing. However, in the fourth quarter, non-political core advertising revenue stabilized year over year. Our root challenges are definable and addressable and we have taken action. In the Publishing business, our operational actions have stabilized profitability and we are confident that we are building a solid foundation for this business’s future. Overall we are excited by our prospects for Q1 and full year 2014,” Tribune president and CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement.

Q4 Earnings: Gray TV Revenue Down 25%

Gray Television reported $95.6 million in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2013, a decrease of 25% compared to the year-ago quarter. Compared to the last non-election year fourth quarter (2011), however, the company’s revenue was up 13%.

Local, national and internet advertising revenue all increased for the quarter, as did retransmission revenue. As expected, political advertising revenue, consulting revenue and other revenue was down.

“I am proud of the significant strides the Company made in 2013, recording record results for an off political year.  Our results reflect our continued commitment to owning and/or operating top stations in our local markets, and to leveraging the benefits of our operational excellence in order to deliver value to our stockholders,” Gray CEO Hilton H. Howell Jr. said in a statement. “We also entered into a number of significant transactions in 2013, and we continue to work toward completing the successful acquisition and integration of these operations, which we believe will further strengthen our Company.”

Q4 Earnings: Journal Broadcast Group Revenue Down 13%

journal broadcast group logoRevenue for Journal Broadcast Group was $65.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 13.1% drop compared to the year-ago quarter. The drop was attributed to a lack of political ad revenue and Olympic revenue: political advertising was $0.4 million and Olympic advertising was $1.6 million for the full year of 2013, compared to $19.9 million and $38 million, respectively, in 2012.

On a same-station basis excluding the extra week of 2012 and political revenue, total revenue was up 10.6%, local revenue was up 2.1% and national revenue was up 11.4%. Retransmission revenue was also up: Journal Broadcast Group reported $5.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to $2.9 million in the year-ago quarter.

“Journal Communications delivered a solid fourth quarter in a non-political year, driven by gains in core revenue in our broadcast group and improving advertising revenue trends in publishing,” Steven J. Smith, chairman and CEO of Journal Communications, said in a statement.

Q4 Earnings: Scripps Television Station Revenue Drops 24%

scripps-negThe E.W. Scripps Company reported $115 million in revenue from television stations during the fourth quarter of 2013, a decrease of $36.7 million compared to the year-ago quarter. The drop was attributed to a decline in political ad revenue in the non-election year.

For the quarter, Scripps reported a 15% increase in local advertising revenue and a 22% increase in national advertising revenue. Retransmission fees were also up, growing 42% compared to the year-ago quarter.

“Our growing television operations finished 2013 strong, rebuilding their core local and national advertising categories in the off year for political spending and delivering strong growth in retransmission revenue,” Scripps chairman, president and CEO Rich Boehne said in a statement. “We expect our core business to grow again in 2014, and with the expected strength in political advertising in the second half, television is set up for a good year.”

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