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Journal Broadcast Revenue Up 22%

Journal Communications reported fourth quarter 2010 television station revenue of $37.4 million, a 32.1% increase over the same quarter a year before. Radio revenue increased 6.2%, combining with television for a 22.1% increase in broadcast revenues for the quarter.

Total broadcast political and issue advertising revenue was $9.4 million in the quarter, compared to $1.5 million in the same quarter of 2009.

Excluding political and issue advertising revenue, broadcasting revenue increased 5%. Local and national advertising revenue increased 3.9% and 3%, respectively, primarily due to an increase in automotive ads. Retransmission revenue was $1.6 million in the quarter.

For the full year, broadcasting revenue increased 13.3% to $194.4 million. Revenue from television stations for the full year increased 18.7% to $125.1 million.

"Overall for the quarter, revenue of $103.7 million increased 7.8% and operating earnings increased 22.6% to $18.8 million," said Steven Smith, chairman and CEO of Journal Communications. "Broadcast political and issue advertising of $9.4 million contributed to our strong fourth quarter results. Excluding political and issue advertising, broadcast revenue grew 5% driven by the continued rebound in automotive advertising, up 16% in the quarter."

Journal Broadcast Group owns 33 radio stations and 11 TV outlets. Smith is focused on growing station performance this year, and perhaps acquiring stations. "Looking ahead to 2011, in broadcast, our top priority is to grow our share of revenue in each market," he said. "Our priority in publishing is to continue to provide a relevant, high impact daily newspaper while enhancing and building our digital business. We will continue to seek in-market growth opportunities in traditional or digital media, make capital investments that drive growth and look for new market broadcast acquisitions."