RICHMOND, Va. – During the third quarter of 2012, Media General Inc. – parent company of WJAR-TV NBC 10 – saw losses widen due to higher expenses but revenue soar due to political advertising and the Olympics coverage.
Media General, which owns 18 broadcast television stations, including NBC and CBS network affiliates, posted a loss of $30.3 million, or $1.34 per share, during the third quarter, compared with a $29.8 million, or $1.32 per share, loss in the same period 2011.
The company’s revenue surged 42 percent during the quarter to $93.8 million from $66.01 million during the same period in 2011.
“Operating income was more than four times last year, mostly driven by a nearly 42 percent increase in revenues,” Marshall N. Morton, president and CEO of Media General, said in a statement.
Morton added that political revenue totaled nearly $20 million and “reflected the strong positions of our television stations in their markets and the presence of six Medial General stations in presidential battleground states.
The company’s eight NBC stations generated $15.5 million in revenue from the Summer Olympics. Excluding political revenue, gross time sales increased 16.8 percent in the third quarter.
Websites associated with television stations generated $2.6 million in advertising revenues during the quarter, up 20.7 percent from the same period in 2011. According to the company, the increase was primarily driven by local advertising, which grew 28 percent during the period.
Media General’s total interest expense in the third quarter was $20.2 million, $2.4 million of which was non-cash, compared with $16 million during 2011.