COO Steve Marks tells analysts that “political is expected to be up 85% through the third quarter and we believe that we will exceed the $34 million of political reported in the fourth quarter of 2008. And yes, that 85% number is a same-station number.
“We’re way ahead of where we thought we would be,” NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke tells analysts. “Given the trends we stand to make money on future Olympics,” he adds.
“We’ll finish about 25% ahead of the [2008 Beijing] China Games with over $12 million,” said Peter Diaz, president-media operations, in Belo’s Wall Street conference call. And Belo President-CEO Dunia Shive told analysts that 3Q spot is strong after weakness in national brought 2Q ad sales, excluding political, in slightly below a year ago.
Andre Fernandez, president-CFO, said he is looking for M&A opportunities, with a bias toward television, particularly mid-size markets, while not ruling out additional radio acquisitions to fill out existing clusters.
In light of Media General’s new focus as a TV company, CEO Marshall Morton says it’s more likely his company will look for more JSA/SSA deals. Those, he says, are “a good way to extend our reach in the marketplace, particularly with respect to news and sales power, without added capital. I also see us pushing hard on the digital front, where it doesn’t take bricks and mortar to gain new market share.”
Dave Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting, in this mornings earnings call to analysts: “We will have a very strong third quarter. We already have significantly more dollars on the books for the London Olympics than we finished with for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 — and we still have inventory left to sell.”