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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Media General Reports April Revenues

RICHMOND, Va. – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) today reported April 2006 total revenues of $90.8 million, a 0.5 percent increase from April 2005. By business segment, Publishing Division total revenues increased 0.3 percent, Broadcast Division total revenues declined 0.6 percent, and Interactive Media Division revenues rose 36 percent.

“For the month of April, Publishing Division advertising revenues increased 1.2 percent, which reflected growth in Classified advertising revenues of 8.4 percent, partially offset by lower Retail and National advertising,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer. “In the Broadcast Division, National time sales increased while Local time sales declined, reflecting soft advertiser spending in several categories and a challenging comparison to an especially strong month in 2005 when this category grew 13.1 percent.

“Interactive Media Division revenues of $2.5 million were the highest monthly total since the division’s inception in 2001. The growth in April was driven mostly by Classified advertising, which was up 28.1 percent. Nearly all of our Web sites generated strong revenue increases and improved operating performance for the month. Unique visitors increased 22 percent in May to 5.8 million users,” said Mr. Morton.

In the Publishing Division, Classified revenue growth was driven primarily by the strength of real estate advertising at The Tampa Tribune, where total Classified revenues increased 21.5 percent. The Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Winston-Salem Journal reported decreases in Classified revenues of 0.6 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, and the Community newspapers were up 3.4 percent in total Classified advertising.

Real estate linage increased 36.5 percent for the company’s three metropolitan newspapers, including growth of 84.6 percent at The Tampa Tribune and 23.7 percent at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Automotive linage continued to reflect restrained spending by automotive dealers and was down 20.6 percent for the three metros.

Employment linage at the three metro newspapers declined 9.2 percent, partially due to Easter Sunday, when Classified advertising is typically soft. Help-wanted linage was down 24.6 percent at The Tampa Tribune, while the Richmond Times-Dispatch and Winston-Salem Journal were both essentially even with last year.

Retail revenues for April declined $420,000, or 1.9 percent. The April 2006 results reflected soft Easter advertising and a shift this year of Mother’s Day preprint advertising into May. Higher Retail revenues at the Winston-Salem Journal, up 5.5 percent, and for the Community newspaper group, up 1.3 percent, only partially offset declines in the Tampa market and at the Richmond Times-Dispatch of 6.8 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.

National revenues decreased $895,000, or 21.5 percent, which was attributable to lower spending in the telecommunications and automotive categories at The Tampa Tribune.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch posted an increase in National revenues of 3.6 percent, mostly due to higher insurance and real estate advertising, and the Winston-Salem Journal was even with last year.

Circulation revenues were down $420,000, or 5 percent, and approximately 40 percent of the decline was due to the continued roll-out of a change in wholesale rates to independent carriers at several newspapers. These rate changes generated a parallel dollar-for-dollar decrease in Circulation expense. The rate change process is expected to be completed at all of the company’s newspapers by mid-2006. In April 2006, eight Media General newspapers posted increases in net paid Daily Circulation for the month, while overall volume decreased slightly.

In the Broadcast Division, gross time sales decreased $385,000, or 1.2 percent. National time sales increased $60,000, or 0.6 percent, and reflected higher spending in the telecommunications, automotive and services categories, offset partially by decreases in fast food and home improvement advertising.

Local time sales decreased $595,000, or 2.8 percent, and reflected lower spending in the fast food, entertainment and home improvement categories, partially offset by increases in the furniture, telecommunications and department store categories.

Political revenues for the month were $405,000 compared with $260,000 last April and were mostly derived from state and local races in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Interactive Media Division revenue growth reflected increased advertising in all categories, especially online Classifieds for help-wanted and real estate advertising. National/Regional advertising increased more than 60 percent as a result of additional campaigns across multiple Web sites. Local revenues increased 27.4 percent and reflected additional video banners and the benefit of sales training initiatives. Page views and visitor sessions for the month increased 11 percent and 14 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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Lou Anne Nabhan
(804) 649-6103

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(804) 649-6748