Media General CEO George Mahoney told analysts today that “we’re pleased with the way the Aereo argument went. It’s terrific that the Justice Department came in on the side of broadcasters. We came away from the argument feeling better than we had and we went in feeling pretty good.”
Industry analysts think the move, which will give Media General 30 network affiliates across 27 markets reaching 14% of U.S. TV households, makes a lot of sense. “It’s nothing short of a great deal,” says Barry Lucas, SVP-research at Gabelli & Co. “It’s a home run for them.”
Recently named CEO George Mahoney got to announce strong 4Q and full year financial results for the pure play that shed its newspaper holdings. He explains why, even taking out last year’s political windfall, those results bode well for the company’s future performance. He also discusses his stations’ growing emphasis on locally produced programming, its two-pronged mobile strategy, digital marketing services and a surge in retransmission consent revenue.
The expected decrease compared to 2012 is due to lower political ad money, but CEO George Mahoney told analysts on Thursday that retrans money will be up 50% and Super Bowl advertising on its CBS affiliates will be a boost. In addition, Mahoney predicted that company’s digital business “will grow at a better than industry rate.”
President-CEO Marshall N. Morton to retire at year end. The board elects George L. Mahoney as his successor. Mahoney has been responsible for Media General’s central broadcast television operations, including master control, traffic and graphics, as well as its digital media and mobile operations.
O. Reid Ashe Jr. is retiring as EVP-COO at the end of the year. George Mahoney, John Schauss and James Woodward all receive promotions.