RICHMOND, Va. – During the first quarter of 2013, Media General Inc. – parent company of WJAR-TV NBC 10 – saw losses narrow 48.6 percent to $17.7 million, or 65 cents per diluted share, from $34.4 million, or $1.53 per diluted share during the same three month period in 2012, the company announced Wednesday.
Station revenue, less agency commissions, fell slightly year over year from $74.2 million during the first quarter of 2012 to $73.9 million during the most recent quarter. The company release attributed the decline to the drop of political revenue from $6.3 million to $507,000.
The company’s release added that the loss in political revenue was mostly offset by higher cable and satellite retransmission revenue, which has increased 55 percent this year. Digital revenue increased 18 percent. Excluding political revenue, income increased 6 percent year over year in the quarter, said the release.
The company’s $5.8 million first-quarter operating income represented a 28.1 percent increase from the $4.5 million reported during the first quarter of 2012. George L. Mahoney, Media General’s president and CEO, attributed the rise in operating income to a 35 percent reduction in corporate and other expenses as well as a “disciplined expense management” by the stations.
“After becoming a pure-play broadcaster last year, one of the significant very early steps we took was to reduce the size of our corporate structure, which had been scaled to serve both newspapers and television stations,” said Mahoney in prepared remarks.