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Slow Q2 for Gannett, Media General

Gannett and Media General separately reported declines in TV revenue and profits for the second quarter. But Sinclair Broadcast Group, which reports its second quarter financial results next week, said its results would be better than the company had anticipated earlier.

Gannett said operating income at its TV stations dropped 24% to $77 million in the second quarter, on a 13% revenue drop to $178.7 million. For the first six months of the year, TV operating income is down 22% to $131.2 million on a 10% revenue decline to $334.3 million.

Media General said operating income for its TV group fell 27% in the second quarter to $15.2 million, on a 9% revenue drop to $66.6 million. For the first six months of the year, the company's TV operating income was down 14% to $23 million on an 11% revenue gain to $126.7 million. Media General chairman J. Stewart Bryan said the company was in the process of revising earlier guidance for financial performance in the third quarter. "At this time, we see no evidence that the weak advertising environment will turn around anytime soon," Bryan said.

Meanwhile, Sinclair said its revenues for the second quarter will be $175.6 million, down about 8% on a pro forma basis and not the 13% to 15% decline the company had anticipated earlier. Broadcast cash flow will total $75 million, down about 20% and not the 28% to 30% drop expected earlier.

Sinclair's stock was up 66 cents in midday trading to $10.95 on word of the revised expectations.
- Steve McClellan