Gannett Retrans Revenue Up 62.3%

TV-Station Revenue Up 3.6% in Second Quarter

WASHINGTON -- Gannett TV-station revenue was up 3.6% for the second quarter of 2013 (the 13-week period ended June 24) to $204.8 million on the strength of increased retransmisson-consent and ad revenue, though "mitigated" by lower political ad revenue.

Digital revenue is more than a quarter of total revenue.

That $204.8 million was compared to $197.7 for 2Q 2012. Retrans revenues were up 62.3%, with advertising revenues up 1.5% over 2Q 2012, but that would have been 9.1% if political ads were taken out of both sides of that equation (political revenue was down $9.9 million compared to the second quarter of 2012, when members of Congress and a president were being elected.

Gannett did not release the retrans figure for second-quarter 2013, which will be disclosed in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing in a few weeks. But for first-quarter 2013, it was $36 million, and a source said it would be fair to put Q2 at roughly the same.

"We are very pleased to report solid revenue growth in our broadcasting and digital segments as well as our fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year circulation revenue growth overall in our Publishing segment," president and CEO Gracia Martore said in announcing the results. Gannett said that, companywide, digital revenue -- $185.5 million -- was up 20% to almost 30% of total company revenue.

The company said it is still expecting to close its $2.2 billion buy of Belo by the end of 2013, subject to FCC approval.

Total TV revenues are expected to be down double digits (mid-teens) for the next quarter, compared to last year’s third quarter, given the combination of political and Summer Olympics dollars in that 2012 quarter that accounted for a whopping $75 million. Excluding those, Gannett said third-quarter TV revenue would be up mid-teens.

Gannett owns 23 TV stations covering 18.2% of the U.S. population (about 21 million households).