* Q3 loss $0.48 vs. loss $2.80 a year ago
* Q3 total revenue up 3 percent
* Publishing revenue down 8 pct
* Q4 total revenue forecast to rise 6-8 pct
* Shares down 49 cents to $7.49
(Adds analyst comment, share price)
NEW YORK, Oct 20 Media General Inc MEG.N
followed its newspaper peers with a decline in third quarter
publishing revenue, providing more evidence that a newspaper
recovery is nowhere to be found.
Investors pushed Media General shares down almost 6 percent
in morning trade on Wednesday brushing aside a rise in total
Publishing revenue at the company fell almost 8 percent on
drop in retail advertising sales in the third quarter
year-over-year erasing any modest improvements made in the
second quarter, when revenue fell 7 percent.
"Clearly the recovery is stalling out," said Edward
Atorino, an analyst with the Benchmark Co. "The third quarter
was disappointing across the board."
Indeed, Gannett Co (GCI.N), the New York Times Co (NYT.N)
and McClatchy (MNI.N) all reported third quarter declines in
Media General, which also owns broadcast stations, said
that total revenue increased about 3 percent to $163.2 million
due mainly to strong political TV advertising.
Broadcast revenue advanced 18 percent.
For the fourth quarter, Media General expects total revenue
to rise between 6 and 8 percent.
The publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported a
loss of $10.7 million, or 48 cents per share, compared with a
loss of $62.5 million, or $2.80 per share, in the same quarter
Few analysts offered estimates on the company, making an
average expectation difficult to project.
Media General shares were down 6 percent to $7.49 in
morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick
and Derek Caney)