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WJAR parents posts $146M net loss in 2Q


RICHMOND, Va. – Media General – parent company of WJAR-TV NBC 10 – posted a net loss of $146.3 million, or $6.48 per share, during the three months ended June 24, compared with a $14.4 million loss during the same 2011 quarter, due in large measure to a one-time charge of $131.7 million related to the company’s divestiture of nearly all its newspaper assets.

Revenue for the owner of 18 network-affiliated broadcast TV stations, as well as The Tampa Tribune and its associated print and Web operations, increased 17.3 percent to $84.1 million during the three months ended June 24, driving a 16.5 percent increase of operating income to $16.4 million.

Media General attributed the revenue rise to strong political advertising and higher retransmission fees at the company’s stations along with strong core business performance.

In addition to the charge related to the sale of its newspaper assets, which was completed at the end of the second quarter, the company took a $7.7 million charge related to refinancing and extinguishing debt.

Profits in the Ohio/Rhode Island market rose 88 percent to $6.6 million from $3.5 million in 2011.

Year to date, the company has recorded a $180.7 million loss, or $8.01 per share, compared with a $41.2 million, or $1.84 per share, loss during the same 2011 period.

The media conglomerate, which announced its first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, has reported a loss in nine of the last 10 quarters.

On June 25, 2012, the first day of the third quarter, Media General became a nearly pure-play television company, following the sale of nearly all of its newspapers to Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary World Media Enterprises.

Media General is in discussions with prospective buyers for The Tampa Tribune and its associated print and Web operations. All Media General newspapers are now shown on the company’s financial statements as discontinued operations, as are Dealtaker.com and broadcast equipment business Professional Communications Systems.


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