Journal Communications earnings up on political ads

Milwaukee-based Journal Communications Inc. today announced third quarter net earnings of $7 million, or 14 cents per share, up from $4.6 million, or 9 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2013.

Total revenue was $105.1 million, up from $97 million in the same period a year ago.

The communications company, which is in the process of merging its broadcast division with The E.W. Scripps Co. and spinning of its newspaper division, achieved the quarterly gains primarily through television retransmission revenue and a frenzy of political and issue advertising leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

The Publishing division reported revenue of $35.7 million, down from $37.7 million in the third quarter of 2013.

“Our focused broadcast sales efforts grew both television and radio revenue, excluding retransmission and political, by approximately 3 percent and drove television and radio digital revenue up 22 percent and 31 percent, respectively,” said Steven Smith, chairman and CEO. “Publishing experienced a soft quarter due to lower retail and classified spending and circulation volume declines. A publishing expense reduction initiative in the fourth quarter will create a lower expense base in the business going forward.”

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