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Monday, March 8, 2010

Media General’s Eight NBC Stations Exceed Winter Olympics Revenue Goal

Richmond, VA - Media General (NYSE: MEG) today said its eight NBC-affiliated broadcast television stations generated $7.6 million in advertising revenues from the 2010 Winter Olympics, compared with its previously announced expectation of $7 million. 

On the audience side, the outstanding performance by Team USA in the 2010 Games, combined with the strength of Media General’s local brands and their aggressive marketing commitments, drove very strong viewership for the Winter Olympics.

Media General’s five NBC stations in Nielsen-metered-markets, listed in the table below, were #1 in their respective markets during the Games and significantly exceeded the competition:

Average household primetime viewing

Station/Market Media General Households Advantage over
Closest Competitor


284,000 179,000


128,000 56,000


165,000 98,000


102,000 40,000


105,000 71,000


784,000 444,000

Source:  The Nielsen Company

Prime-time Winter Olympics coverage was the top-rated program on WFLA for the duration of the Games.  WJAR won 14 of 17 nights, and WCMH and WVTM each won 13 of 17 nights.  WCMH ranked 7th among all Nielsen-metered markets in the U.S. for overall average audience rating during the Games and was 2nd for daytime viewing. 

“The outstanding efforts of our sales teams generated strong revenues from local and national advertisers from Winter Olympics packages,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer.  “All of our stations did a terrific job capitalizing on the opportunity presented by airing the Games.   We were aggressive in promoting the unique value we bring to our local communities and their viewers, and we succeeded in retaining new viewers for our adjoining local newscasts,” said Mr. Morton. 

“Strong sales efforts were also evident in the revenues generated from Super Bowl packages on our eight CBS stations in February – a total of $912,000.  In addition, Political spending is ramping up, and we expect the first quarter of 2010 to include $1.1 million of Political revenues.  Media General’s revenue performance since mid-2009 reflects the benefit of an overall transformation of our sales culture to one that provides our customers with multimedia solutions.  All of our sellers are now selling all of our products to all of our customers.  This new focus is enabling Media General to deliver revenue results that are at the top of our peer group,” said Mr. Morton.

For the first two months of 2010, broadcast revenues increased 11.4 percent and Digital Media revenues increased 10 percent compared to last year.  Newspaper revenue declines moderated to 10.7 percent in the first two months of 2010.  Total Media General revenues declined 1.1 percent in the first two months of 2010.

Media General Winter Olympics, Super Bowl and Political Revenues


Thirteen Weeks Ending


March 28, 2010


March 29, 2009


Winter Olympics





Super Bowl
















* 2009 Super Bowl was on NBC and played in Tampa, Fla., where Media General's WFLA-TV generated more than one-half of the company's 2009 Super Bowl revenues.
** Estimated (Jan./Feb. 2010 actual  Political revenues were $580,000)

Media General operates three additional NBC affiliates that are not in metered markets, including WSLS (67), Roanoke, Va.; WSAV (96), Savannah, Ga.; and WCBD (97), Charleston, S.C.

About Media General
Media General is a leading provider of news, information and entertainment across multiple media platforms, serving consumers and advertisers in strong local markets, primarily in the Southeastern United States.  Media General’s operations are organized in five geographic market segments and a sixth segment that includes interactive advertising services and certain other operations.  The company’s operations include 18 network-affiliated television stations and their associated Web sites, three metropolitan and 20 community newspapers and their associated Web sites, and more than 200 specialty publications that include weekly newspapers and niche publications targeted to various demographic, geographic and topical communities of interest.  Many of the company’s specialty publications have associated Web sites.  Media General additionally operates three interactive advertising services companies:  Blockdot, which specializes in interactive entertainment and advergaming technologies;, a coupon and shopping Web site; and NetInformer, a leading provider of wireless media and mobile marketing services.

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

Media Contact:
Ray Kozakewicz
(804) 649-6748