Tegna Reports Lower Second-Quarter Earnings

(Image credit: Tegna)

Tegna reported lower earnings in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic hurt ad revenue.

Net income $19.947 million, or 9 cents a share, compared to $79.995 million,or 37 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 8% to $578 million, driven by acquisitions, subscription revenue and political revenue. Excluding political advertising, revenue was up 5%. Ad revenue fell 21% to $229 million.

Subscription revenue rose 37% due to rate increases and acquisitions, as the company signed new deals with distributors representing about 50% of its subscribers.

Tegna said it expects advertising revenue to be at least $370 million. 

The company said it expects full-year subscription revenue to be up in the mid-twenty percent range.

“Our second quarter performance reflects our ability to execute on Tegna’s five-pillar strategy in any economic environment,” said CEO Dave Lougee. “While I am proud of our financial performance, since the onset of COVID-19, our number one priority has been the physical health and safety and emotional and economic well-being of our colleagues.”

On top of that, he noted that Tegna has station in some of the markets where the Black Live Matter protests were strongest, including Washington, D.C., Seattle, Portland, Louisville, Atlanta and Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by police.

“At Tegna, we are committed to taking this seminal moment in American history and doing our part to bring change, beginning with a new process of assessing and holding ourselves accountable for our own recruitment, hiring, development and promotion practices. And we will, in turn, create new accountability for how our powerful local media platforms reflect our communities in our editorial practices and our news products,” Lougee said. He pointed to on initiative recently discussed by Tegna’s board that defining specific areas of oversight for each committee around the way that Tegna approaches diversity across a number of different dimensions.

“Looking forward, we are confident in Tegna’s ability to perform, even if our economy experiences a slow recovery. During these unprecedented times, we will continue to provide purpose-driven, impactful local journalism to viewers and increase engagement with the communities we serve across all of our platforms,” Lougee said.

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.