Media General reported net operating revenue of $160.2 million in the third quarter, a 21% gain on the same quarter of the previous year. Operating income more than doubled, Media General said, to $35.2 million. The broadcaster reported $21.4 million in political revenue in the quarter.
On November 12, 2013, Media General, Inc. and Young Broadcasting merged, boosting the 2014 third quarter numbers. "Our strong year-over-year growth in the third quarter of all key financial metrics further demonstrates the value of our merger with Young Broadcasting last November," said George L. Mahoney, president and chief executive officer of Media General. "Comparing the results of the combined company, net operating revenue increased 21%. This growth reflected higher political, retransmission, digital and local advertising revenues along with our purchase of WHTM in Harrisburg on September 1."
Core advertising declined 2% year over year. Local gross time sales increased 2% to $76.4 million while national decreased 10% to $34.3 million.
Retransmission revenues increased 51% to $35.3 million in the third quarter.
On March 21, Media General announced plans to merge with LIN Media. The transaction remains subject to FCC approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.
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.
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