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Media General Reports Q3 Revenue Drop

Media General’s total company revenues were $193.7 million for the third quarter, a 10.9% decline from the same quarter last year. Net income was $6.1 million, compared with $2.5 million in the third quarter last year.

Excluding discontinued operations, consisting of five television stations that have been or will be sold, income from continuing operations was $5.8 million—compared with $1.6 million from the same period in 2007.

Broadcasting was solid for the quarter at Media General, climbing 24.5% from the third quarter of 2007 for a $17.7 million profit. That was helped by $7.5 million in political revenue and $12.5 million in Olympic advertising, offsetting dips in local and national time sales. Total broadcast revenues declined $1.3 million, or 1.5%, over Q3 2007. The automotive, telecommunications and corporate segments were weak in terms of national advertising, said Media General.

“The prolonged weakened economy and unfavorable business climate have created far more challenges than we anticipated and continued to deeply impact our operating results in the third quarter, particularly the Publishing Division,” said President/CEO Marshall N. Morton. “In reaction, we have accelerated our response to a changing marketplace through product innovation and aggressive expense management.”

Media General cited “aggressive actions to reduce workforce” among the reasons for total operating costs decreasing 9.5%.

The company’s Interactive division saw a 9% boost in revenues, but showed a quarterly loss of $336,000.

Richmond-based Media General owns 19 stations and hundreds of newspapers.