QUARTERLY REPORT

Tribune 1Q TV Revenue Moves Up 3%

The increase to $453.4 million is pegged to 12% higher retrans money and growth in core advertising revenue.

Tribune Media today reported first quarter 2019 earnings results that included Television and Entertainment Segment revenue of $453.4 million compared to $440.7 million in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of $12.7 million, or 3%.

The company said the increase was driven by a $14.7 million, or 12%, increase in retransmission revenues and a $2.7 million, or 1%, increase in core advertising revenue, partially offset by a $5.2 million decrease in political advertising revenue.

The revenue broken down:

  • Core advertising revenues (which exclude political and digital revenues) increased 1% to $247.7 million.
  • Net political advertising revenues were $4.1 million for the first quarter of 2019 compared to $9.3 million for the first quarter of 2018.
  • Retransmission and carriage fee revenues increased 9% to $174 million.

1Q Television and Entertainment operating profit was $79.9 million for the first quarter of 2019 compared to $211.9 million for the first quarter of 2018, a decrease of $131.9 million.

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Television and Entertainment adjusted EBITDA was $126.8 million for the first quarter of 2019 compared to $135.2 million in the first quarter of 2018, a decrease of $8.4 million, or 6%, primarily due to higher programming expense, partially offset by higher retransmission revenues.

Television and Entertainment broadcast cash flow was $107.8 million for the first quarter of 2019 compared to $116.5 million in the first quarter of 2018, a decrease of $8.7 million, or 7%.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

The company as a whole reported consolidated operating revenues of $455 million compared to $443.6 million in the first quarter of 2018, representing an increase of $11.4 million, or 3%. The increase was primarily driven by higher retransmission revenues. Consolidated operating profit was, while consolidated operating profit was $54.7 million for the first quarter of 2019 compared to $187.3 million for the first quarter of 2018, representing a decrease of $132.6 million. The decrease was primarily due to the absence of a net pretax gain on the sales of spectrum of $133 million recorded in the first quarter of 2018.

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Peter Kern, Tribune Media’s CEO, said: “The first quarter of 2019 continued the positive momentum established by Tribune Media in the second half of last year, with the company again reporting solid financial results.

“Core advertising continues to be stable, growing year-over-year compared to Q1 2018, and we expect the second quarter to remain consistent with that trend. Excluding the gain on the sales of spectrum in 2018, first quarter consolidated expenses increased in line with our expectations, due primarily to last year’s renewal of our network affiliation agreements with Fox.

“Importantly, all other remaining expenses in total were down compared to the same time period last year, reflecting our ongoing commitment to containing costs. TV Food Network continues to be a strong performer, delivering robust cash distributions and equity results for us.

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“Finally, we’re very pleased with the progress being made toward closing our previously announced transaction with Nexstar, which has announced its plans to divest certain TV stations and filed its applications for license 2 transfers with the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC has started the clock on its review of the transaction and we remain on-track for closing late in the third quarter.”

Read the company’s report here.


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