Journal Communications 4Q Profit Climbs

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By: AP and E&P

Publishing and broadcasting company Journal Communications Inc. said Wednesday that strength in its broadcasting division and an extra week helped push fourth-quarter earnings up 40 percent. Additionally, the company named Ellen Siminoff to its board of directors.

Net income climbed to $23.4 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with $16.7 million, or 23 cents per share, in the previous year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial forecast a profit of 25 cents per share.

The company said its current quarter’s earnings rose $3.5 million, or 5 cents per share, on the sale of KBBX-FM and a garage property and a curtailment gain related to a retiree medical plan amendment. Earnings fell on a reduction in the estimate of advertising credits to be issued to advertisers in 2007 related to a previous litigation settlement.

Quarterly revenue gained 15 percent to $186.6 million from $161.8 million primarily on growth in its broadcasting division. The unit saw sales rise 47 percent to $70.2 million.

The company said that an extra week in the period added $11.1 million to its revenue.

Consensus estimates put sales at $199.9 million.

Full-year 2006 earnings slipped nearly 3 percent to $64.4 million, or 89 cents per share, versus $66.2 million, or 88 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue for the year climbed 7.7 percent to $671.9 million from $624 million.

Siminoff serves as president and CEO of Efficient Frontier, a provider of paid search engine marketing. She was a member of the founding executive team at Yahoo and spent six years there in a number of positions including senior vice president of small business and entertainment. Before Yahoo, she worked at the Los Angeles Times as online classifieds manager.

She and her husband David founded EastNet, a global syndicate barter company distributing television programming to emerging market countries in exchange for advertising.

“We are confident that Ellen will help us execute our strategic growth plans, particularly in interactive and new media,” said Steven J. Smith, chairman and CEO, in a statement.

The addition of Siminoff increases the size of the board to nine members.

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