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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Media General's Television Stations Generated $41.5 Million in 2010 Political Revenues

RICHMOND, Va. – Media General (NYSE: MEG) announced today that its 18 broadcast television stations generated approximately $41.5 million in Political advertising revenues through November 2. Four Media General television stations generated about two-thirds of the total, including WFLA in Tampa, Fla.; WCMH in Columbus, Ohio; WSPA in Spartanburg, S.C.; and WJAR in Providence R.I. Additionally, a late surge in advocate group and party spending for two hotly contested Congressional races in the Virginia 5th and 9th Districts generated more revenues than anticipated for WSLS in Roanoke, Va., and WJHL in Johnson City, Tenn.

"Media General benefited from a surge in issue and national party spending in the final weeks and days leading up to November 2. Our stations, most of which are rated number one or number two in their respective markets, were in an excellent position to benefit from Political advertising this year. We generated nearly $24 million in Political revenues in October and the first two days in November," said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer of Media General.

Political revenues at WFLA and WCMH were the result of gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races, and WCMH also benefited from three hotly contested Congressional races. WJAR generated the majority of its revenues from Rhode Island’s gubernatorial race and from a Congressional race in Massachusetts. The gubernatorial race in South Carolina and a Congressional race in North Carolina accounted for the majority of Political revenues generated by WSPA. Media General stations in Alabama and Georgia delivered significant Political revenues this year from gubernatorial elections in both states, and a Congressional race in Georgia.

In addition to the Political revenues from its broadcast television stations, Media General’s newspapers generated approximately $450,000 in Political revenues and the company’s websites garnered approximately $50,000. "While the dollars are much smaller compared to television advertising, we were pleased to see our other media platforms viewed as a reliable way to convey issue and campaign messages to a target audience," said Mr. Morton.

"Robust broadcast revenues from Political advertising, Winter Olympics spending and the underlying firming of our television business, as well as our aggressive expense reductions implemented in 2008, 2009 and this year, have made a significant contribution to our year-over-year performance improvement in 2010.

"As a tribute to the outstanding contributions by our employees during the extremely challenging times of the past few years, we have awarded them a one-time payment. Employees who gave up income during 2009 as a result of Media General’s furlough program received a cash payment on October 25, 2010, which was the equivalent of two furlough days," Mr. Morton said.

The one-time reward, approximately $1.5 million in total, was included in the company’s third-quarter results and reported in its most recent Form 10-Q.

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 the company’s interactive advertising services and certain other operations.  The company’s operations include 18 network-affiliated television stations and their associated websites, three metropolitan and 20 community newspapers and their associated websites, 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 websites.  Media General additionally operates three interactive advertising services companies:  Blockdot, which specializes in interactive entertainment and advergaming technologies;, a coupon and shopping website; 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