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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Media General Reports November 2007 Revenues

RICHMOND, Va. – Heavily impacted by an $11.8 million reduction in Political revenues from last year, Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) today reported November 2007 total revenues of $80.3 million, a decrease of $11.5 million, or 12.5 percent, from November 2006.  By business segment, Publishing Division revenues decreased 8.9 percent, as a result of continued weakness in Classified advertising; Broadcast Division revenues decreased 18.9 percent, due to the lower Political advertising in this off-election year; and Interactive Media Division revenues rose 34.8 percent. 

“The near $12 million decrease in Political revenues at our television stations, partially offset by double-digit increases in Local and National time sales, was the primary cause of our November revenues decline,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer. “With the addition of four new NBC stations in 2006, we generated $13.2 million in Political advertising last November compared with $1.4 million this year, which was generated by spending from Presidential campaigns in South Carolina and Florida, state and local government races in a majority of our markets, and issue spending in a number of states.

“Our Publishing and Interactive Media Division results reflected lower Classified advertising in most markets, particularly in Tampa.  Florida’s deep recession continues to challenge our Tampa operations and accounted for the majority of the decline in Publishing revenues,” Mr. Morton said.

“Increased Interactive Media Division revenues were due to higher advertising spending in the Local and National/Regional categories as well as strong revenue growth in our advergaming business and these results helped offset the weak Classified advertising.  Page views and visitor sessions in November each increased more than 6 percent from last year,” Mr. Morton said.

Publishing Division
Newspaper advertising revenues in November decreased $4.5 million, or 10.8 percent; most of the decline was attributable to the Tampa market where Classified revenues dropped more than 45 percent.

Due mostly to that drop in Tampa, Classified advertising revenues decreased $3.7 million, or 24.1 percent.  Classified revenues in the Richmond market declined 8.5 percent, and all three major categories were lower.  The Winston-Salem market saw an 8.3 percent reduction, reflecting lower automotive and real estate revenues, partially offset by higher employment spending due in part to higher rates.  The Community newspaper markets decreased 10.9 percent.

For the company’s three metro markets, real estate revenues were down 36.1 percent, employment revenues decreased 25.9 percent, and automotive revenues declined 32.5 percent.

Retail advertising revenues declined by $550,000, or 2.4 percent, although Thanksgiving-holiday preprint revenues were higher this year than last year, because some advertisers shifted their spending from ROP to preprints.  The Tampa Tribune and its associated newspapers reported a 3.6 percent decrease, primarily due to lower spending in the home improvement and home furnishings categories.  The Richmond Times-Dispatch and its associated weekly newspapers experienced a nominal decrease, reflecting a decline in medical advertising offset in part by revenues from a new weekly newspaper.  In Winston-Salem, Retail revenues were down 3.5 percent, as lower spending in the political and home improvement categories was partially offset by higher medical advertising.  The Community newspaper group saw a 2.5 percent decrease. National revenues decreased $240,000, or 7.1 percent.  The Richmond market generated a 7.6 percent increase, primarily the result of higher spending in the telecommunications category and increased preprint revenues, but that was more than offset by the Tampa market, which declined 21.2 percent, due to lower advertising in most major advertising categories.  National revenues in Winston-Salem decreased 3.5 percent, reflecting lower spending by telecommunications advertisers.

Circulation revenues were down $90,000, or 1.5 percent, as Daily and Sunday net-paid circulation declines for the month were partially offset by rate increases at the metro newspapers.  Four Media General newspapers generated increases in net-paid Daily Circulation, and three did so for Sunday.

Broadcast Division
In the Broadcast Division, gross time sales decreased $8 million, or 18.3 percent, mostly due to the impact of lower Political spending in this off-election year.

Local time sales increased $2.3 million, or 11.7 percent, primarily from higher spending in the automotive, grocery store and the services categories, partially offset by lower furniture store and telecommunications advertising.

National time sales rose $1.6 million, or 14.3 percent, as a result of increased advertising in the automotive, telecommunications and financial categories.

Interactive Media Division
Interactive Media Division revenues increased 34.8 percent, due to significantly higher revenues from the advergaming business, solid growth in National/Regional and Local advertising and revenues from the Yahoo!HotJobs employment Classified partnership.  Revenues from Yahoo!HotJobs also helped mitigate overall softness in Classified revenues, which declined 13.1 percent.

Local online revenues grew 42.5 percent over November 2006, reflecting continued focus on direct sales.  National/Regional advertising increased 40.6 percent, resulting from higher spending by national agencies.  Advergaming revenues more than tripled from last year.

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