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Media General Reports $6.7 Million Q1 Profit

Apr 12, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Media General, a Richmond, Va.-based owner of newspapers and television stations, said Wednesday that it swung to a first-quarter profit, even as weakness in the publishing business, along with the expensing of stock options, weighed on the company’s results.

The company said its first-quarter profit was $6.7 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $316.2 million, which included an accounting-related charge for valuing intangible assets other than good will. Revenue rose to $226.4 million from $217.9 million a year ago.

The company said its profit figure reflects robust growth at its 26 network-affiliated television stations, which offset weakness at the publishing division, where higher newsprint and employee compensation weighed on results. Also factoring into the results was the $1.6 million in stock-option expenses for the quarter, which the company is required to book due to a new accounting rule.

Media General’s broadcasting division reported a 4 percent increase in revenue to $73.5 million, while operating profit advanced 4 percent to $11.8 million, driven by growth in local and national advertising. The company said political advertising revenue was $250,000, which it called “minimal” but meeting expectations for the first quarter.