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Gannett Broadcast Revenue Grows 27%

Gannett's broadcasting revenues for the fourth quarter were $232.8 million, a 27.1% increase over the same quarter a year ago. Gannett includes its Captivate elevator-video channel in the broadcasting category; the media giant cited "strong advertising demand bolstered by higher political spending and a significant increase in Captivate revenues" as factors in broadcasting's surge.

Television revenues at Gannett's 23 stations were $220.2 million in the quarter, well up from the $174.5 million in the same quarter a year before. Retransmission revenues were up almost 16% to $16.4 million in the quarter. Ad revenues were up 1.2% when excluding political.

"Broadcasting had an outstanding year in terms of ratings, revenue and profitability," said Gannett Chairman/CEO Craig Dubow. "Operating income in broadcasting in 2010 grew over 50% and significantly exceeded 2008 results, which was a presidential election year."

Gannett's publishing segment operating revenues were $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter, a decline of 4.7% over the same quarter last year.

Gannett warned that the absence of Olympic-generated revenue on its stations in the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2010, will negatively affect the quarter's earnings.