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Monday, August 20, 2007

Media General Reports July 2007 Revenues

RICHMOND, Va. – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) today reported July 2007 total revenues of $83.8 million, a 3.3 percent decrease from July 2006.  By business segment, Publishing Division total revenues decreased 6.8 percent, Broadcast Division total revenues decreased less than 1 percent, and Interactive Media Division total revenues rose 37.4 percent. 

“Media General’s July results mostly reflected continued weak advertiser spending in our Tampa, Florida, market and lower Political revenues in our Broadcast Division,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer.  “Publishing Division revenues, while disappointing overall and continuing to reflect difficulties in our Florida markets, showed some positive signs in the month.  Our Richmond, Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia and Alabama markets all generated year-over-year growth.

“Our Interactive Media Division generated strong growth in the month, despite soft Classified advertising.  We benefited from significantly increased revenues in our advergaming business, increased spending by Local and National/Regional advertisers and employment Classified revenues from our Yahoo!HotJobs partnership.”

Publishing Division

Newspaper advertising revenues in July declined $3.8 million, or 8.5 percent, driven by continued weakness in Tampa. 

Classified advertising revenues decreased $2.9 million, or 14.3 percent, mostly due to Tampa’s impact.  The Tampa Tribune and its associated newspapers fell below last year by 31.9 percent, primarily the result of lower real estate and employment Classified advertising.  The Richmond market, which includes the Richmond Times-Dispatch and its associated weekly and specialty newspapers, generated a 3.4 percent increase in Classified revenues, due to higher real estate advertising.  The Winston-Salem market reported a decline of 13.4 percent, as automotive advertising revenues were down sharply.  The Community newspaper markets decreased 3.9 percent.

Retail advertising revenues decreased $310,000, or 1.6 percent, primarily attributable to a 5.5 percent decline in the Tampa market.  In the Richmond market, Retail revenues increased 8 percent, as the result of the benefit of this year’s Discover Richmond special section, the addition of a new hyper-local weekly newspaper, and strength in the grocery store, entertainment and medical advertising categories.  The Winston-Salem market declined 8.6 percent, due to lower spending in most major categories.  Retail revenues in the Community newspaper group markets decreased 1.1 percent.

National revenues decreased $430,000, or 11.7 percent, mostly reflecting a 26.5 percent decline in Tampa, the result of lower spending in virtually all major National advertising categories.  The Richmond market generated an increase of 14.1 percent, primarily due to higher telecommunications advertising, and the Winston-Salem market was even with last year.

Circulation revenues were up nominally, the result of rate increases at the metro newspaper markets partially offset by Daily and Sunday net-paid circulation declines for the month.  All Media General markets have cycled through a change in wholesale rates to carriers as of June 30, 2007.

Broadcast Division

In the Broadcast Division, gross time sales decreased $630,000, or 1.9 percent, mostly due to lower Political spending in this off-election year, but also reflecting soft transactional sales, particularly in the automotive category.

Local time sales increased $410,000, or 2.1 percent, primarily due to higher spending in the fast food and services categories, partially offset by lower automotive and furniture advertising.  National time sales rose just under 1 percent, as a result of higher spending in the financial and telecommunications categories.

Political revenues of $545,000 compared to $1.7 million last July, and represented early campaign spending from gubernatorial and lieutenant governor races in Louisiana and Mississippi and issue advertising in Florida, Ohio, Georgia and South Carolina.

Interactive Media Division

Interactive Media Division revenues increased 37.4 percent, as a result of significantly higher revenues from advergames and increased spending by Local and National/Regional advertisers.  Classified revenues decreased 6.2 percent, reflecting the overall softness in newspaper Classified advertising, partially offset by revenues from the Yahoo!HotJobs employment initiative.  

Local online revenues rose 32.3 percent over last year, reflecting a focus on direct sales and increased staffing.  National/Regional advertising increased 40.8 percent, primarily the result of a higher volume from national agencies.  Page views and visitor sessions both increased 14 percent, excluding the new NBC station Web sites.  

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 150 weekly newspapers and other publications.  The company’s broadcasting assets include 23 network-affiliated television stations that reach more than 32 percent of the television households in the Southeast and nearly 9.5 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