(Updates BRIEF with details, quotes, share move; adds NEW YORK to dateline)
NEW YORK, June 10 (Reuters) - Media General Inc MEG.N on Tuesday forecast earnings at the higher end of Wall Street's expectations due to cost cuts, but its shares fell as further declines were predicted for its newspaper advertising.
The owner of the Tampa Tribune and the Richmond Times-Dispatch said it expects total newspaper revenue to fall 8 percent to 10 percent in 2008, though publishing expenses will also drop 3 percent to 5 percent as the company carries out conservation efforts and consolidates printing operations.
It expects second-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations of 6 cents to 10 cents. The forecast excludes severance costs of about 14 cents per share.
For the full year, it forecast earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.35 to $1.45 as it cuts jobs, defers capital spending and takes other steps to reduce costs.
Analysts on average had forecast earnings per share of 6 cents, excluding special items, for the second quarter and 95 cents for the full year, according to Reuters Estimates.
Media General executives issued the forecasts at a Deutsche Bank media conference in New York.
The company, which also owns television stations, said it expects broadcast division results to improve in the second half of the year, with spending on the U.S. presidential race to contribute about $45 million in annual revenue.
Total broadcast revenue is expected to rise 6 percent to 8 percent for the year.
Internet-based revenue is expected to rise 40 percent with growth in online and local advertising. The division is forecast to post a profit of $3 million from a loss of $3 million in 2007, excluding certain investments.
Media General shares fell 2.4 percent to $13.57. (Reporting by Michele Gershberg, editing by Maureen Bavdek)
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