Media General Reports Weak Q4

Media General reported that total company revenues in the fourth quarter of 2007 were $243.8 million, down approximately 10% from the same quarter a year before.

Media General reported net income for the fourth quarter of $9.6 million, down from $31.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2006. The Richmond, Va.-based company gave several reasons for the lower numbers, including a shorter quarter in 2007, the lack of political advertising and substantial writedowns.

“Media General’s lower profit in the fourth quarter was chiefly attributable to markedly lower political revenues compared with the record $33 million generated in last year’s fourth quarter and a $6.8 million loss from the company’s share of the operating results of SP Newsprint,” president and CEO Marshall N. Morton said.

Broadcast-division profit for the quarter declined approximately 42%, and total broadcast revenues decreased about 14%, due largely to lower political revenues. The broadcast-division results excluded three television stations that are being held for sale and reported as discontinued operations.

Total political revenues of $4.3 million compared with $33.3 million in the 2006 quarter. The current quarter’s revenues were generated from primary campaigns in Florida, South Carolina and Georgia; state races in many markets; and issue spending.

The company’sinteractive-media division’s revenues of $9.2 million increased approximately 36% over the 2006 quarter, with a big increase in what Media General calls “the advergaming business.” Local revenues increased about 50% as the result of continued growth in banners, sponsorships and direct sales.

Michael Malone

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.