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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Media General Reports November 2008 Revenues

RICHMOND, Va. – Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) today released its monthly revenues report for November 2008.  Total company revenues of $65 million compared with $75.8 million in November 2007.  The year-over-year decrease of 14.2 percent was primarily attributable to lower Publishing Division revenues, which decreased 17.9 percent, mostly the reflection of a prolonged weakness in newspaper Classified advertising.  In the Broadcast Division, revenues declined 10.7 percent, as Political advertising only partially offset lower Local and National time sales.  Interactive Media Division revenues grew 7.4 percent, due to a 38 percent increase in Local online advertising and revenues from, acquired on March 31, 2008. 

“Political revenues in November totaled $2.5 million and were driven by presidential campaign advertising, particularly in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio; U.S. congressional races in Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi and South Carolina; state elections in Ohio; and issue spending in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer.

“We continue to see robust growth in Local online advertising, driven by our focus on online-only sales initiatives, as well as revenues from our online shopping and coupon business,,” Mr. Morton said.  “ experienced a strong Black Friday performance.  Commission revenues increased 167 percent over last year and visitors to DealTaker’s site increased 80 percent.  Our overall online audience growth continued in November, spurred by our continuous news approach.  Page views were up 12.9 percent, visitor sessions grew 26.9 percent and unique visitors rose 29.2 percent.” 

Publishing Division
Publishing Division total revenues declined 17.9 percent in November.  Excluding Florida, total Publishing revenues were down 15.1 percent.  Revenues in Virginia and North Carolina decreased 17.1 percent and 15.5 percent, respectively.  In South Carolina, revenues declined just 7.2 percent, mostly due to the positive impact of revenues from a new weekly newspaper acquired on March 31, 2008.  In Alabama, revenues decreased just 5 percent, as the Classified decline was not as sharp as in several other markets.

Classified advertising revenues decreased $4.4 million, or 37.7 percent, reflecting reductions in all markets.  For the company’s three metro markets combined, employment revenues decreased 60.4 percent, real estate advertising revenues decreased 53.8 percent, and automotive revenues declined 45.2 percent.

Retail advertising revenues declined $3.1 million, or 13.9 percent.  One-half of the category decline was due to lower spending in Tampa across several key categories.  National advertising revenues decreased $655,000, or 21.2 percent, and reflected declines in all markets.

Circulation revenues increased $360,000, or 7.2 percent, reflecting Daily single-copy and home-delivery price increases in a number of markets, which offset volume declines.

Broadcast Division
Broadcast gross time sales decreased $6 million, or 18.9 percent.  Local time sales decreased $4.5 million, or 23.2 percent, and National time sales declined $3.1 million, or 26.5 percent.  Lower spending in the automotive, specialty stores and service categories drove the decline in Local and National transactional advertising.

Interactive Media Division  
In the Interactive Media Division, while total online Classified advertising decreased 19 percent, an increase in employment liner advertising through the Yahoo!HotJobs partnership and higher rates helped to mitigate the shortfall, as total online revenues advanced 7.4 percent.

National/Regional advertising declined 41 percent, mostly as a result of reduced spending in Tampa.

About Media General
Media General is a leading provider of local news, information and entertainment over multiple media platforms.  The company serves markets primarily in the Southeastern United States.  Media General publishes 24 daily newspapers, including The Tampa Tribune, Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Winston-Salem Journal; and community newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Alabama and South Carolina; plus approximately 275 weekly newspapers and other targeted publications.  The company owns and operates 19 network-affiliated television stations that reach approximately 30 percent of the television households in the Southeast and nearly 9 percent of those in the United States.  The company’s interactive media operations include Web sites and portals that are associated with each of its newspapers and television stations as well as with many specialty publications, and three growing interactive advertising services companies, Blockdot, Inc., and NetInformer.

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

Media Contact:
Ray Kozakewicz
(804) 649-6748