Amid reports that it’s being eyed by Sinclair, Tribune Media Wednesday reported $525.7 million in TV and entertainment revenue during the fourth quarter of 2016, a 13% increase year over year.
In its earnings report, the company said the rise was driven by a $68.3 million increase in net political advertising revenue, an increase in retransmission revenue of $14.9 million, or 20%, and an increase in carriage fee revenue of $8.0 million.
The report comes after a year of streamlining by Tribune, which included selling the data business Gracenote and real estate including the Tribune Tower. It also comes as CEO Peter Liguori (pictured) prepares to step down from the role. A search for his successor is underway.
Among the report's highlights:
- The sale of substantially all of Tribune’s data and digital business to Nielsen.
- Consolidated operating revenues increased 11% to $529.6 million for the fourth quarter and increased 8% to $1,947.9 million for the full year.
- Consolidated operating profit increased 129% to $113.2 million for the fourth quarter and increased 261% to $433.6 million for the full year.
- Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA increased 38% to $181.5 million for the fourth quarter and increased 21% to $531.1 million for the full year.
- Total television and entertainment net advertising revenues (which includes political and digital revenues) increased 10% to $384.6 million for the fourth quarter and increased 5% to $1,374.6 million for the full year.
- Retransmission revenue increased 20% to $89.2 million for the fourth quarter and increased 18% to $334.7 million for the full year.
- Carriage fee revenue increased 35% to $30.7 million for the fourth quarter and increased 42% to $121.0 million for the full year
- Digital ad revenue increased 7% to $18.9 million for the fourth quarter and increased 12% to $66.6 million for the full year.
Early Wednesday, Reuters reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group has approached Tribune about a possible merger should existing ownership caps be eased.
Discussions about combining two of the country’s largest station groups are preliminary, Reuters reported. A deal would also be contingent on the FCC relaxing current regulations, which don’t allow broadcast groups to reach more than 39% of the country.
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