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Broadcast Bolsters Media General Earnings

Media General credited its broadcast division for a 26.7% jump in net income in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to a year ago. Announcing its Q4 results yesterday, Media General said the spike, from $25 million to $31.6 million, was due in large part to four NBC stations acquired last June, and the 2006 quarter having one more week than 2005’s. The four new stations include market leader WJAR Providence.

“Media General’s strong profit improvement in the fourth quarter was mostly due to the outstanding performance of our Broadcast Division, bolstered by the four new NBC stations,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and CEO, “and record political revenues of $34.3 million.”

Total company revenue in the quarter was $294.7 million, up 26% from a year ago.

Richmond-based Media General owns newspapers, stations and Web properties in the Southeast. Stations include WVTM-NBC Birmingham, WFLA-NBC Tampa and WKRG-CBS Mobile, Ala./Pensacola, Fla.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.