Journal Q1 revenue up on strong broadcast numbers


Journal CommunicationsRevenue for the quarter was $94.7 million, up 15.1%. Net earnings were $3.8 million, an increase of 29.9%. Results were driven by the acquisition of Nashville NewsChannel 5 – WTVF-TV in December.

Broadcast revenue was up 31.1%, up 6.0% on a same-station basis. Daily newspaper revenue trends improved with retail advertising revenue up 4.5%. Publishing revenue was down 3.8%, up 1.8% excluding northern Wisconsin community publications sold in December.

Revenue from television stations in the quarter increased 43.4% to $42.3 million, or 7.6% on a same-station basis. Television political ad revenue was $0.4 million compared to $1.2 million. Local ad revenue, excluding political, increased 36.7%, or 3.2% on a same-station basis, primarily due to an increase in automotive. National ad revenue, excluding political, increased 50.1% or 9.5% on a same-station basis, primarily due to increases in media and restaurant advertising.

Revenue from radio stations increased 6.7% to $15.9 million, or 2.8% on a same-station basis. Radio political advertising revenue was $0.1 million in each of 2013 and 2012. Local ad  revenue, excluding political, increased 7.2%, or 3.3%, primarily due to an increase in retail advertising. National ad revenue, excluding political, increased 2.1%, but decreased 1.3%, primarily due to a decrease in communications advertising. Operating earnings from radio stations were $2.4 million compared to $2.9 million, a decrease of 15.3%.

“We are very pleased to report that Journal Communications experienced revenue growth in the first quarter at both our television and radio stations and improving trends at the Journal Sentinel daily newspaper,” said Steven Smith, Journal Communications CEO. “Television revenue increased over 43%, driven by a solid quarter at the newly acquired NewsChannel 5 in Nashville. On a same-station basis, television revenue increased almost 8%, driven, in part, by increased retransmission revenue. In radio, revenue grew nearly 7% with same-station up almost 3%, with revenue increases seen in most markets. Same-station revenue was up more than 6% across the broadcast group.”

In the first quarter, basic and diluted net earnings per share of class A and B common stock were $0.08 compared to $0.05 in 2012..

Revenue at the daily newspaper for the quarter increased 0.1% to $33.1 million. Total ad revenue of $16.0 million declined 0.6%. Retail advertising revenue increased 4.5% due to successful programs that have grown share with local advertisers. Classified ad revenue decreased 10.9% driven by a decrease in employment and automotive advertising. Digital ad revenue of $2.9 million increased 12.6%, primarily due to an increase in sponsorship revenue. Circulation revenue of $12.0 million was down 2.2%. Other revenue of $5.1 million increased 8.5% driven by higher commercial printing revenue.

Community newspapers revenue for the first quarter decreased 29.6% to $3.5 million primarily due to the sale of the northern Wisconsin community publications in December 2012. Excluding revenue of $2.1 million related to the northern Wisconsin community publications in 2012, revenue increased by 20.3%, driven by commercial print revenue from the northern Wisconsin publications that we continue to print following the sale.

Looking at Q2, Journal expect total broadcast revenue to be up in the mid-single digits as compared to the second quarter of 2012. In publishing, excluding the northern Wisconsin community publications, we anticipate revenue declines in the low-single digits as compared to Q2 2012.