News Releases


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Media General Reports January Revenues

RICHMOND, Va. – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) today reported that January 2006 revenues of $80.3 million increased 4.5 percent from January 2005. On a divisional basis, Publishing's total revenues increased 4.4 percent, Broadcast revenues increased 3.3 percent and Interactive Media revenues rose 35.6 percent.

“Our year got off to a solid start driven by a 6.1 percent increase in advertising revenues in the Publishing Division and a 7 percent increase in Broadcast television time sales,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer.

“In Publishing, all major advertising categories reported increases, led by Classified, which was up 8.7 percent. The Tampa Tribune's advertising revenues increased 13.9 percent, reflecting growth in all major categories, particularly real estate Classifieds,” said Morton. “Our Broadcast Division continued to benefit from its new revenue development initiatives, while our Interactive Media Division's strong year-over-year growth was driven by a 33.1 percent increase in Classified advertising.”

In the Publishing Division, newspaper advertising revenues increased $2.5 million, or 6.1 percent, compared to January 2005.   Including revenues from the company's newspaper Web sites, newspaper advertising revenues rose 6.8 percent for January and total Publishing revenues increased 5.1 percent.

Classified revenues increased $1.6 million, or 8.7 percent, led by strong real estate advertising in many markets. Including online advertising, total Classified revenues increased 10.1 percent in January. At The Tampa Tribune, Classified advertising revenues increased 18.7 percent, the Richmond Times-Dispatch rose 5.5 percent, while the Winston-Salem Journal was down 2.5 percent. The Community newspapers were even with last year.

At the three metropolitan newspapers, employment linage increased 0.2 percent. Employment linage at the Richmond Times-Dispatch increased 0.6 percent with a corresponding increase in revenue of 3.4 percent. At the Winston-Salem Journal, employment linage increased 4.1 percent with a corresponding revenue increase of 6.7 percent. Employment linage at The Tampa Tribune decreased 2.1 percent while revenue increased 6.3 percent. All three metro newspapers yielded a higher average rate in January.

Real estate linage increased 32.2 percent for the three markets combined, led by a 74.4 percent increase at The Tampa Tribune. The Richmond Times-Dispatch was up 20.6 percent, while the Winston-Salem Journal was down 8.2 percent.

As has been the case in the last several months, automotive linage was down 12.6 percent for the three metros, due to continued spending restraint from the automotive dealers.

Retail revenues increased $750,000 or 4.2 percent. More than one-half of the increase came from The Tampa Tribune, which was up 8 percent, due to increases in the medical and home furnishings categories as well as higher preprint and color revenues. Retail revenues at the Richmond Times-Dispatch declined 2.7 percent, primarily due to decreases in the department, furniture and grocery store categories, while the Winston-Salem Journal was even with last year. Community newspaper Retail revenues were up 3.3 percent. 

National revenues increased $160,000, or 3.6 percent. The Tampa Tribune's revenues increased 12.1 percent due to higher automotive and pharmaceutical advertising. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported a 3.5 percent decline, reflecting lower spending in the telecommunications category, and t he Winston-Salem Journal was even with last January.

Circulation revenues were down $380,000, or 4.5 percent.  Approximately 60 percent of the decline was due to the continued roll-out of a change in wholesale rates to independent carriers at several more of the company's newspapers. These rate changes also result in a dollar-for-dollar decrease in Circulation expense. The rate change roll-out is expected to be completed at all of the company's newspapers by mid-2006. While eight Media General newspapers posted net paid Circulation increases for the month, the balance of the Circulation revenue decline was due to an overall decrease in daily Circulation of 0.7 percent and a decrease in Sunday Circulation of 2 percent.

Gross time sales i n the Broadcast Division of $25.3 million were up $1.7 million, or 7 percent, due to strong Local and National time sales growth. The increase in advertiser spending was partially offset by lower network compensation and by lower sales at the company's television equipment subsidiary. In January, Political spending was minimal.

Local time sales grew $1 million, or 6.8 percent, driven by new business development initiatives. There were advances in the telecommunications, furniture, and medical categories.

National time sales increased $600,000, or 7.2 percent. This increase was due primarily to higher spending in the telecommunications and entertainment categories, which offset decreases in automotive advertising.

Interactive Media Division revenues rose 35.6 percent to $2.1 million, fueled by a 33.1 percent increase in Classified advertising, led by employment, as well as a strong performance in various new products and a significant increase in National advertising.  

About Media General
Media General is a diversified communications 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.

View tables

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

Media Contact:
Ray Kozakewicz
(804) 649-6748