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Post-Sinclair, Tribune Media Reports Third-Quarter Profit

Tribune Media, recovering from the aborted takeover by Sinclair Broadcast Group, swung to a profit in the third quarter on big increases in political advertising and retransmission consent payments.

Net income was $54.1 million, or 61 cents a share, compared to a loss of $18.7 million a year ago.

Revenues rose 11% to $498 million.

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Political advertising revenues hit $42.6, up 90% from the previous quarter during a midterm election. Revenues were up 36% from the third quarter of 2016.

Operating profit for Tribune Media’s Television and Entertainment segment grew to $67.3 million compared to a loss of $1.4 million a year ago.

TV and entertainment advertising revenues increased 11% to $327.2 million. Retransmission revenues rose 12% to $116.6 million, Carriage fee revenues rose 30% to $40.1 million.

“We are very pleased with our record third quarter revenue and Adjusted EBITDA which reflect the strong operational year we are having,” said CEO Peter Kern.

“We drove share gains in political and core advertising along with reaping the benefits of unprecedented political spending and stronger core advertising in our markets. Net of displacement, we estimate core advertising growth would have been in positive territory for the quarter, which is a significant improvement compared to the first half of the year,” Kern said. “This robust advertising performance along with continued growth in retransmission and carriage fees and diligent focus on costs produced a terrific third quarter. We are proud of the work our teams have done during this time, and we look forward to a strong finish to the year.”