Media General Swings To 2Q Profit

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Wall Street Journal

Media General Inc. swung to a second-quarter profit, countering sharp revenue declines with cost cuts as the company restructures its newspaper and broadcast TV businesses for a new media age.

The shares more than doubled to a new high for 2009 at $4.73 as its bottom-line results beat expectations, but its revenue performance disappointed as publishers and broadcasters continue to contend with a slumping ad market and a shift toward digital media.

Echoing recent quarterly reports from larger newspaper counterparts, like Gannett Co. and McClatchy Co., the company said it boosted second-quarter profits by cutting operating costs by 23% through such measures as layoffs, mandatory unpaid time off for employees, freezing its pension program and a suspension of its payments to match employee contributions to their retirement accounts. Similar steps are underway across the newspaper industry as the rise of the Internet shrinks the traditional publishing business. More…