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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Media General Reports December Revenues

RICHMOND, Va. – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) today reported that December 2005 revenues of $73.3 million increased 1.5 percent from December 2004. On a divisional basis, Publishing’s total revenues showed a small decline of 0.4 percent, Broadcast revenues increased 3.3 percent and Interactive Media revenues rose 42.5 percent.

In the Publishing Division, newspaper advertising revenues increased $270,000, or 0.7 percent, compared to a strong December 2004. Including revenues from the company’s newspaper Web sites, newspaper advertising revenues rose 1.3 percent for December and total Publishing revenues increased 0.1 percent.

Classified revenues increased $260,000, or 2 percent. Including online advertising, total Classified revenues increased 3.6 percent in December. Employment linage at The Tampa Tribune increased 9.1 percent and rose 12.3 percent at the Winston-Salem Journal. The Richmond Times-Dispatch posted a 1.9 percent decline mostly due to lower employment advertising by state and local governments and schools.

At The Tampa Tribune, total Classified advertising revenues increased 4.1 percent, the Richmond Times-Dispatch was even with last year, and the Winston-Salem Journal was down 1.7 percent. Community newspapers were up 0.8 percent.

For the company’s three metro newspapers, employment linage increased 4.2 percent and real estate linage rose 31.7 percent. Automotive linage was down 17 percent, similar to the last several months, due to automotive dealers continuing to hold back on spending.

Retail revenues decreased $30,000 or 0.2 percent. The Tampa Tribune’s retail revenues were below last year by 1.4 percent, mostly the result of declines in the department store category. Retail revenues at the Richmond Times-Dispatch declined 7.5 percent, primarily due to decreases in the department and jewelry store categories. The Winston-Salem Journal was up 3.7 percent, reflecting higher spending in the department store, sporting goods and jewelry store categories. Community newspaper Retail revenues were up 1.2 percent.

National revenues declined $80,000, or 2 percent. The Tampa Tribune’s National revenues were even with last year, while the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported a 2.3 percent decline, reflecting lower spending in the telecommunications category, and the Winston-Salem Journal had a 14.7 percent decrease, also the result of lower telecommunications advertising as well as a decrease in National automotive advertising.

Due primarily to a change in wholesale rates to independent carriers, for which there was a corresponding expense decrease, Circulation revenues were down $390,000, or 5.7 percent, from last year. While some Media General newspapers experienced circulation volume declines in December, 11 newspapers reported Daily circulation volume growth and five newspapers did so for Sunday.

Gross time sales in the Broadcast Division of $25.1 million were up $2.1 million, or 9.2 percent, due to strong Local and National time sales growth. In December, Political spending was minimal in this off-election year.

Local time sales grew $1.4 million, or 9.3 percent, driven by new business development initiatives, particularly at the company’s Tampa, Spartanburg, Birmingham, Roanoke and Florence stations. There were advances in the furniture, automotive, financial, department store and telecommunications categories.

National time sales increased $670,000, or 9 percent. This increase was due primarily to higher spending in the department store, telecommunications and automotive categories, which offset decreases in fast food and specialty store advertising.

Interactive Media Division revenues rose 42.5 percent to $1.7 million, fueled by a 35.7 percent increase in Classified advertising, led by employment, as well as a strong performance in various new products and a 19.1 percent increase in Local advertising. Revenues from Blockdot, acquired in July 2005, also contributed to the growth.

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 more than 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 50 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