Oct 8 Media General Inc exited its
nearly two-centuries-old newspaper business by selling the Tampa
Tribune, and raised its revenue forecast for political
advertising on its TV stations due to stronger-than-anticipated
demand in key election battlegrounds.
The company expects to get $57 million to $58 million this
year from political advertisements, higher than the $50 million
it had expected, boosted by the U.S. presidential election and
hotly contested Senate races this year.
Media General has stations in four states that are key to
the presidential election - Ohio, Florida, Virginia and North
This year's political advertising during the presidential
election could net revenue of $2.8 billion in local TV revenues,
Moody's Investors Service said last month.
"Our Virginia, Rhode Island and Ohio stations are also
benefiting from hotly contested Senate races," Media General
Chief Executive Marshall Morton said in a statement.
The company sold almost all its newspapers to Berkshire
Hathaway in May for $142 million to focus on
its broadcast business.
The newspaper industry has over the past few years been
dogged by plummeting advertising revenue and readers who prefer
digital formats over paper and ink.
The sale of the Tampa Tribune to Revolution Capital Group
for $9.5 million completes Media General's switch to a
broadcast television and digital media company.
The newspaper, which has been with Media General since 1927
and has won a Pulitzer in 1966, has an average Monday to Friday
circulation of about 144,000, according to the Audit Bureau of
The company said plans are underway to increase broadcast
cash flow and EBITDA margins.
The company said its corporate staffing has been reduced in
half since June, partly as a result of the sale of its
newspapers and party due to the layoffs in the third quarter
that affected 75 employees.
CEO Morton also said the company's financial position has
been strengthened by a new financing arrangement with Berkshire
Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a 17 percent stake in the
company last month.
Media General shares were down 3 percent at $5.14 in Monday
morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.