Political Ads Help Boost Tegna Earnings

(Image credit: Tegna)

Tegna reported higher third-quarter profits as record political ad spending and acquisitions boosted revenue.

Net income rose to $132 million, or 60 cents a share, up from $48.3 million, or 22 cents a share a year ago.

Revenue rose 34% to $738 million thanks to record political advertising revenue of $116 million.

Through election day, Tegna said it registered $395 million in political ad revenue, with more on the way in Georgia, where it owns stations in Atlanta and Macon. 

Third quarter subscription revenue rose 32% to $317 million because of rate increases and acquisitions. The company said about half of the households will be covered by agreements with new rates reached in last year’s fourth quarter.

Ad revenue was flat at $299 million because of acquisitions and growth at its Premion OTT advertising service. 

“Our record single quarter revenue performance in the third quarter reflects the strength and durability of our business model and ongoing focus of our Board and management to deliver on our long-term Strategy,” said CEO Dave Lougee.

“Despite the significant impact of COVID-19, advertising and marketing services has benefited from our sustained efforts to diversify our platforms and an expansion of our number of new advertisers, which is reflected in an aggregate market share increase across our portfolio. Advertising and marketing services has continued to show sequential monthly improvement since April,” Lougee said. “This performance demonstrates the sales transformation improvements we have actively implemented over the past several years, including bringing national sales in-house and creating one, holistic sales organization, which we call ‘One Team Tegna,’ to accelerate growth and better serve clients and agencies.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.