Earnings Digest: Media General

Media General recently released its third-quarter results of $2.5 million, or 11 cents a share, from $20.6 million, or 87 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 4.5% to $230 million, which compared to Wall Street’s expectations of $233 million, according to Reuters estimates. However, Media General’s Hispanic publications, particularly Centro Mi Diario – Tampa, have been doing much better. “National revenues grew by 129% vs previous year,” says Orlando Nieves, general manager of Centro Mi Diario (circ. 65,000). Centro Mi Diario was launched in September 2005.

Regarding the categories and brands that have grown the most, Nieves cites Value Coupons, Telecommunications and Entertainment: “Some of our current advertisers are Valassis, NewsAmerica, Verizon, FIOS, Disney, TracFone, Florida Lottery, Metro PCS.”

Local Retail revenue grew by 33% vs. previous year.  Most of the increase came from increased awareness of our product and upsells from existing Tampa Tribune clients. The Tampa Tribune is Centro Mi Diario’s sister general market newspaper.

Profitable

Asked whether Centro Mi Diario is a profitable publication, Nieves answers, “Yes, we turned a profit after 13 months and expect to close the year profitably.”

Media General also publishes Hispanic weeklies under the same name (Centro) in the Richmond (Virginia) and Woodbridge (Virginia) markets.  Are there cases in which national advertising has been sold into the three editions? “No, most of the advertising has been done independently and we don’t provide yet network pricing for all Spanish publications.  However, this is something that is being considered for 2008.”


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