Friday, August 30, 2013

Tribune Broadcasting Revenue Falls 20%

By Merrill Knox

Net income plunges 61.2% and revenue slides 10.5% at Tribune

Trib logo
Tribune Co. reported $260 million in broadcast revenues for the second quarter of 2013, down -20% from $327 million in the year-ago quarter. The decline includes $41 million in one-time copyright royalties paid to WGN, Tribune’s CW affiliate in Chicago, in 2012.

PIX Plaza
Advertising revenue also declined $17 million in the quarter, primarily at WGN and WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City. Tribune says WPIX continues to be impacted by the Cablevision blackout last year and WGN’s performance has been impacted by lower sports revenue. Retransmission and carriage fees were up 15% for the quarter.

“While our second quarter financial results reflect many of the same challenges faced by the other companies in our sector, we have made substantial progress strategically repositioning Tribune for long term growth,” Tribune president and CEO Peter Liguori said in a statement.

According to Los Angeles Times reporter the ongoing decline of newspaper ad revenue has cast a shadow over the entire company. Tribune has announced plans to spin off its eight daily newspapers into a separate company. Doing so would likely raise the value of the company's television, radio and Internet properties.

The company emerged from bankruptcy at the end of last year, and it has been widely reported that its board is interested in selling the publishing unit, which includes the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. Several potential suitors have expressed interest in The Times, including Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., Dodgers controlling owner Mark Walter, Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner and local philanthropist and businessman Eli Broad.

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