Local advertising falloff is cited as a major factor in the decrease to $27 million from $33 million in the same quarter last year One positive note is an increase in retrans revenue from $400,000 to $1 million.
Journal Communications Inc. today announced results for its second quarter ended June 28. Revenue from television stations decreased 18.2 percent to $26.7 million compared to $32.6 million.
Television political and issue advertising revenue was $0.4 million compared to $0.6 million.
Retransmission revenue was $1.0 million compared to $0.4 million.
Operating loss from television stations of $13.4 million included a $14.9 million non-cash impairment charge for television broadcast licenses.
Excluding the non-cash impairment charge, operating earnings of $1.5 million decreased 68.1 percent compared to $4.6 million. Television operating expenses (including KWBA-TV that was acquired in July 2008 and KNIN-TV acquired in April 2009 but excluding the non-cash impairment charge) were down 10.0 percent compared to last year due to the reduction in employee related costs and other cost reduction initiatives.
The company’s broadcasting revenue (including radio stations) decreased 18.2 percent to $43.8 million compared to $53.5 million largely due, it said, to decreases in local advertising revenue of 16.3 percent and national advertising revenue of 34.8 percent.
Total broadcast political and issue advertising revenue was $0.6 million compared to $0.7 million.
Broadcasting operating loss of $12.7 included a $19 million non-cash impairment for broadcast licenses and a $1.7 million gain related to insurance proceeds from its Wichita, Kan., tower replacement. Excluding these items, operating earnings of $4.6 million decreased 52.7 percent compared to $9.7 million.
“While the advertising environment remains challenged, we recorded positive operating earnings in the second quarter excluding the $19.0 million non-cash impairment charge. We were also able to reduce debt by $22 million in the second quarter to bring our total debt down to $178 million,” said Steven J. Smith, chairman-CEO of Journal Communications. “We have been able to trim our debt by $37 million in the first two quarters of 2009. We continue to aggressively cut expenses in the face of reduced revenue.
“Our long time customers in automotive, real estate and retail advertising continue to feel the effects of the economic recession. For example, in the second quarter, automotive advertising was down 49 percent in broadcasting and 56 percent in the daily newspaper. We have yet to see signs of a sustained recovery.
“Our businesses continue to focus on cash generation by maximizing our share of the advertising dollars in our local markets while seeking both traditional and non-traditional ways to enhance our advertising customers’ ability to reach their target audiences.”
For the company as a whole, revenue of $109.4 million decreased 21.9 percent compared to $140.1 million.