Media General Revenue Rises; Newspaper Business Still Struggling

Media General (MEG), the Virginia-based newspaper publisher and local TV station operator, today reported that second-quarter operating income rose 19% year over year to $16.3 million and posted a 2% increase in total revenue to $166.2 million.
The company attributed the rising operating profit to an uptick in political advertising on its local TV stations. CEO Marshall Morton said the company drew $7 million in revenue related to political ads.
Media General’s publishing segment didn’t see the same level of success. Revenue from the newspaper business declined 7% year over year. Morton said that this marked a “moderation in the rate of decline in Publishing revenues.”
Including special items such as an interest expense related to debt restructuring and a non-cash tax expense, the company reported a second-quarter loss of $4.3 million.
For the third quarter, the company expects a 6%-8% increase in total revenue compared with the third quarter of 2009. Much of this will again come from political ads airing on Media General TV stations. Publishing revenue declines will continue (3%-5%), the company said. Operating costs for the company as a whole, meanwhile, are expected to rise.