Excluding revenue from two stations acquired on Jan. 17, revenue declined 4% due to a $15.3 million decrease in political ad revenue and lower network revenue, partially offset by $5.9 million in higher retransmission revenues and an increase in ad revenue in several key sectors.
Graham 4Q Same-Station Rev Dips 4%
On Feb. 23, Graham Holdings Co. reported fourth quarter earnings that included revenue from its television broadcasting division, Graham Media Group, of $111 million, an increase of 2% from $108.8 million in the same quarter of 2016.
However, excluding revenue from two stations acquired on Jan. 17 (WCWJ Jacksonville, Fla., and WSLS Roanoke, Va.), revenue declined 4% due to a $15.3 million decrease in political advertising revenue and lower network revenue, partially offset by $5.9 million in higher retransmission revenues and an increase in advertising revenue in several key sectors.
Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2017 was down 30% to $39 million, from $55.9 million in the same period of 2016, due to the significantly higher network fees and increased amortization of intangible assets expense.
The company as a whole, Graham Holdings, had 4Q revenue of $675.8 million, up 7% from $629.6 million in 2016. Revenues increased in other businesses and at the television broadcasting division, offset by a decline at the education division.
The company reported operating income of $67.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to $109.5 million in 2016. Operating results declined at the education and television broadcasting divisions, offset by an increase in other businesses.
For full-year 2017, Graham Holdings revenue was $2,591.8 million, up 4% from $2,481.9 million in 2016. The Company reported operating income for 2017 of $209.1 million, a decrease of 31%, from $303.5 million in 2016.
At Graham Media, full-year 2017 revenue increased slightly to $409.9 million in 2017, from $409.7 million in 2016. Excluding revenue from the two newly acquired stations, revenue declined 6% due to a $28.7 million decrease in political advertising revenue, $13.1 million in 2016 incremental summer Olympics-related advertising revenue at the company’s NBC affiliates, lower network revenue and the adverse impact from hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the third quarter of 2017, partially offset by $20.7 million in increased retransmission revenues.
As previously disclosed, the company’s NBC affiliates in Houston and Detroit are operating under a new contract with NBC effective Jan. 1, 2017, that has resulted in a significant increase in network fees in 2017, compared to 2016.
Operating income for 2017 was down 32% to $137.2 million, from $200.5 million in 2016 due to lower revenues, the significantly higher network fees and increased amortization of intangibles expense.
Read the company’s report here.