Media General, Inc. (NYSE: MEG) has released its monthly revenues report for November 2008. Total company revenues of $65 million compared with $75.8 million in November 2007. The year-over-year decrease of 14.2 percent was primarily attributable to lower Publishing Division revenues, which decreased 17.9 percent, mostly the reflection of a prolonged weakness in newspaper Classified advertising. In the Broadcast Division, revenues declined 10.7 percent, as Political advertising only partially offset lower Local and National time sales. Interactive Media Division revenues grew 7.4 percent, due to a 38 percent increase in Local online advertising and revenues from DealTaker.com, acquired on March 31, 2008.
“Political revenues in November totaled $2.5 million and were driven by presidential campaign advertising, particularly in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio; U.S. congressional races in Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, Mississippi and South Carolina; state elections in Ohio; and issue spending in Ohio, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Mississippi,” said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer.
“We continue to see robust growth in Local online advertising, driven by our focus on online-only sales initiatives, as well as revenues from our online shopping and coupon business, DealTaker.com,” Mr. Morton said. “DealTaker.com experienced a strong Black Friday performance. Commission revenues increased 167 percent over last year and visitors to DealTaker’s site increased 80 percent. Our overall online audience growth continued in November, spurred by our continuous news approach. Page views were up 12.9 percent, visitor sessions grew 26.9 percent and unique visitors rose 29.2 percent.”