Media General Q3 Profit Surges

Oct 15, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Media General, the newspaper and television station group, on Friday reported a surge in third-quarter profit, driven in part by strong political advertising revenue as well as the absence of a one-time charge taken in the year-ago period.

Richmond, Va.-based Media General, which owns 26 network-affiliated TV stations, reported a profit of $15.7 million, or 66 cents a share, vs. a year-earlier figure of $3.7 million, or 16 cents a share. The 2003 quarter included a one-time charge of $8.1 million related to an accounting change.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $217.6 million despite an impact of $2 million to $2.5 million on Media General’s Florida properties from a series of hurricanes.

Media General’s TV stations benefited from strong political advertising revenue and the effects of its NBC stations carrying the Summer Olympics. The company said national and local nonpolitical advertising was up in the quarter as well.

Despite the gains, the company said political advertising revenue, which came in at $8.5 million in the quarter, fell short of projections as the presidential campaigns moved dollars into states seen as battlegrounds. However, that was offset by spending in Senate races in South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia.