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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Media General Reports March Revenues

RICHMOND, Va. – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) today reported March 2006 total revenues of $74.3 million, a 3 percent increase from March 2005. By business segment, Publishing Division revenues increased 4.5 percent, Broadcast Division revenues decreased 1.7 percent, and Interactive Media Division revenues rose 37.2 percent.

In the Publishing Division, newspaper advertising revenues increased $2.5 million, or 6.4 percent, compared to March 2005. Including revenues from the company’s Web sites, newspaper advertising revenues rose 6.9 percent for March and total Publishing revenues increased 5 percent.

Total Classified revenues for the month increased 16.7 percent, driven primarily by the Classified real estate category. The strong Classified revenue growth in 2006 also reflected the fact that in 2005 Easter Sunday occurred in March. Classified advertising tends to be lower than normal on Sundays that are also holidays. Newspaper Classified advertising rose 16.1 percent and online Classified advertising on the company’s Web sites increased 27.8 percent.

Looking specifically at the company’s newspapers, Classified advertising revenues increased 32.1 percent at The Tampa Tribune and 13 percent at the Richmond Times-Dispatch. At the Winston-Salem Journal, Classified revenues decreased 4.2 percent, due mostly to lower growth in real estate Classifieds than the other metropolitan markets. The company’s Community newspapers were up 5.4 percent in the aggregate for Classified advertising.

Employment linage at the company’s three metro newspapers increased nominally. At The Tampa Tribune, linage declined 13.8 percent, while revenues increased 7 percent due to a change in mix of advertisers that carried a higher average rate. At the Richmond Times-Dispatch, linage increased 7.3 percent and revenues were up 12.5 percent due to a higher average rate. At the Winston-Salem Journal, employment linage increased 16.4 percent, while revenues declined 4 percent as a result of lower national employment advertising, which carries a higher average rate.

Real estate linage increased 53.3 percent for the three markets combined and The Tampa Tribune nearly doubled its linage. The Richmond Times-Dispatch had 38 percent growth and the Winston-Salem Journal was up 16 percent.

Continuing the trend of the last several months, automotive linage was down 18.3 percent in total for the three metros and reflected continued restraint by automotive dealers.

Retail revenues for March increased $160,000, or 0.9 percent, and was softer, particularly preprints, due to Easter falling in April this year. Holiday-related Retail advertising typically occurs in the weeks just prior to the holiday. The Tampa Tribune and its associated daily newspapers reported a 3.4 percent increase due to higher spending in the furniture and financial categories. The Richmond Times-Dispatch had a 1.3 percent decline and the Winston-Salem Journal’s Retail revenues were even with last year. The Community newspapers had a 2.1 percent decrease in total Retail revenues, despite solid increases in Charlottesville and Northern Virginia.

National revenues for the month decreased $350,000, or 9.9 percent. Lower spending in the telecommunications and automotive categories led The Tampa Tribune, the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Winston-Salem Journal to report declines of 4.2 percent, 13.4 percent and 22.5 percent, respectively.

Circulation revenues for the month decreased $370,000, or 5.3 percent, nearly half of which was due to the continued roll-out of a change in wholesale rates to independent carriers at several newspapers. These rate changes also resulted in a dollar-for-dollar decrease in Circulation expense. Seven Media General newspapers posted increases in net paid daily Circulation for the month, while overall net paid circulation decreased slightly year-over-year. The rate change process is expected to be completed at all of the company’s newspapers by mid-2006.

In the Broadcast Division, gross time sales of $24.5 million increased $260,000, or 1.1 percent. Local time sales increased 3.7 percent, driven mostly by gains in fast food and services advertising.

National time sales decreased $130,000, or 1.5 percent, and reflected lower spending in the automotive, corporate and specialty stores categories, partially offset by increases in telecommunications and services advertising.

Political advertising revenues of $70,000 for the month were minimal, as expected, and were mostly derived from gubernatorial and local candidate advertising.

Interactive Media Division revenues were $2.1 million, a 37.2 percent increase compared to the same month last year, and were driven by online Classifieds. National advertising more than doubled. Unique visitors for the month increased 20 percent and represented approximately 6 million users coming to Media General Web sites for news, information, entertainment and advertising content. Page views and visitor sessions for the month increased 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

About Media General
Media General is a multimedia company operating leading newspapers, television stations and online enterprises, primarily in the Southeastern United States. The company’s publishing assets include three metropolitan newspapers, The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal; 22 daily community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina; and more than 100 weekly newspapers and other publications. The company’s broadcasting assets include 26 network-affiliated television stations that reach 30 percent of the television households in the Southeast and nearly 8 percent of those in the United States. The company’s interactive media assets include more than 75 online enterprises that are associated with its newspapers and television stations. Media General also owns a 33 percent interest in SP Newsprint Company, a manufacturer of recycled newsprint.

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Investor Contact:
Lou Anne Nabhan
(804) 649-6103

Media Contact:
Ray Kozakewicz
(804) 649-6748