The 105% increase to $416 million comes from the purchases of Belo and London Broadcasting stations. Minus those deals, revenue rose 19%, driven mostly by higher retransmission consent money.
Gannett today reported earnings for the third quarter that were highlighted by a strong broadcast segment. It climbed almost 105%, to $416.5 million, due primarily to the acquisition of Belo Corp. On a pro forma basis (had Gannett owned the Belo and London television stations during the same quarter last year), group revenue was up 18.6%. The increase reflects a 60.9% increase in retransmission revenue to approximately $92 million in the quarter in addition to substantially higher politically related advertising of $40 million resulting from maximizing the benefit of a strong political footprint.
Pro forma digital revenues in the broadcasting segment were up 24.1% due primarily to growth in digital marketing services products.
Gracia Martore, president and chief executive officer, commented: “We made great progress again this quarter, both in the outstanding performance of our businesses and the continued transformation of the Gannett portfolio. Year-over-year revenue comparisons for each of our business segments improved relative to second quarter comparisons, just as we anticipated. Double digit pro forma growth in broadcasting revenue, which again reached a record high, was driven by robust political ad spending and retransmission revenue.”
The company said that “based on current trends and including a full quarter of results for the former Belo and London stations in 2014, we expect the increase in total television revenues for the fourth quarter of 2014 compared to the same quarter of 2013 to exceed 115%. On a pro forma basis, the percentage increase in total television revenues in the fourth quarter of 2014 is projected to be in the low-20s compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.
Overall company revenue grew 15% to $1.44 billion, pro forma revenue was up 4%.
On Aug. 5, the company announced its plan to create two publicly traded companies. One will be exclusively focused on its broadcasting and digital businesses, and the other on its publishing business.
Read the company’s report here.