Excluding revenue from two stations acquired on Jan. 17, revenue declined 4% due to a $15.3 million decrease in political ad revenue and lower network revenue, partially offset by $5.9 million in higher retransmission revenues and an increase in ad revenue in several key sectors.
On Feb. 23, Graham Holdings Co. reported fourth quarter earnings that included revenue from its television broadcasting division, Graham Media Group, of $111 million, an increase of 2% from $108.8 million in the same quarter of 2016.
However, excluding revenue from two stations acquired on Jan. 17 (WCWJ Jacksonville, Fla., and WSLS Roanoke, Va.), revenue declined 4% due to a $15.3 million decrease in political advertising revenue and lower network revenue, partially offset by $5.9 million in higher retransmission revenues and an increase in advertising revenue in several key sectors.
Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2017 was down 30% to $39 million, from $55.9 million in the same period of 2016, due to the significantly higher network fees and increased amortization of intangible assets expense.
The company as a whole, Graham Holdings, had 4Q revenue of $675.8 million, up 7% from $629.6 million in 2016. Revenues increased in other businesses and at the television broadcasting division, offset by a decline at the education division.
The company reported operating income of $67.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $109.5 million in 2016. Operating results declined at the education and television broadcasting divisions, offset by an increase in other businesses.
For full-year 2017, Graham Holdings revenue was $2,591.8 million, up 4% from $2,481.9 million in 2016. The Company reported operating income for 2017 of $209.1 million, a decrease of 31%, from $303.5 million in 2016.
At Graham Media, full-year 2017 revenue increased slightly to $409.9 million in 2017, from $409.7 million in 2016. Excluding revenue from the two newly acquired stations, revenue declined 6% due to a $28.7 million decrease in political advertising revenue, $13.1 million in 2016 incremental summer Olympics-related advertising revenue at the company’s NBC affiliates, lower network revenue and the adverse impact from hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the third quarter of 2017, partially offset by $20.7 million in increased retransmission revenues.
As previously disclosed, the company’s NBC affiliates in Houston and Detroit are operating under a new contract with NBC effective Jan. 1, 2017, that has resulted in a significant increase in network fees in 2017, compared to 2016.
Operating income for 2017 was down 32% to $137.2 million, from $200.5 million in 2016 due to lower revenues, the significantly higher network fees and increased amortization of intangibles expense.
Read the company’s report here.