Media General Joins Others in Profit Slide


Newspaper and broadcasting company Media General Inc. said Thursday its second-quarter profit slid 47 percent from results boosted by a hefty investment gain a year ago. Gannett and Tribune Co. have also reported big hits in the past day.

Media General’s profit fell to $20.2 million, or 85 cents per share, in the three months ended June 25 from $38.4 million, or $1.61 per share, in the year-ago period.

Excluding a gain on the sale of the company’s investment in The Denver Post, year-ago earnings for the period would have been $19 million, or 80 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, expected earnings of 82 cents per share for the latest quarter.

Media General said sales rose 3 percent to $230.1 million from $222.8 million on solid newspaper ad and broadcast time revenue as well as strength in its interactive media unit. Wall Street was targeting $245.8 million in sales.

National ad revenue fell nearly 7 percent, while circulation sales sagged almost 5 percent on the continued roll-out of a change in wholesale rates to independent carriers at several papers.

Interactive media revenue increased about 33 percent to $6.5 million on better classified advertising and national/regional sales.

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