Political and Olympics ads drive the gain, with core local revenue down 3% and core national up 18% thanks to automotive and media advertising.
Journal Communications today announced results for its third quarter ended Sept. 23 that included a 39.5% increase in revenue from television stations to $38.9 million compared to $27.9 million in the period year ago.
Excluding political and issue revenue of $8.6 million and Olympic advertising revenue of $2.7 million in 2012 and political and issue revenue of $1.8 million in 2011, revenue from television stations increased 6.1%.
Core local advertising revenue decreased 3% largely due to declines in restaurant and home product advertising as well as the displacement impact of political and issue advertising in certain markets.
Core national advertising revenue increased 18.2% primarily due to an increase in automotive and media advertising.
Operating earnings were $10 million compared to $2.9 million, an increase of 244.1%. Television operating expenses increased 15.8% driven by higher employee-related expenses, higher sales commissions, acquisition and integration-related costs, and expenses related to the new Green Bay Packers preseason network agreement. Excluding acquisition and integration expenses of $0.5 million, operating expenses increased 13.9%.
“Journal Communications had a strong third quarter with consolidated revenue up more than 11% driven largely by political and issue advertising in our television business,” said Steven J. Smith, chairman-CEO.
“Broadcast revenue was up 25% primarily driven by political and issue advertising, but also due to the successful summer Olympics on our NBC stations and core revenue growth,” Smith said, adding: “This quarter we clearly advanced our strategy of adding broadcast assets to the business as we completed the agreement to purchase NewsChannel 5 — WTVF, an exceptional television station in Nashville and one of the top CBS affiliates in the country. We also simplified our capital structure by repurchasing all of the outstanding class C shares.”
Read the company’s report here.