Lack of political advertising leads to Journal Communications earnings dip

Milwaukee-based Journal Communications, Inc. today reported second quarter net earnings of $6.6 million, a decrease of 13.3 percent.

The company reported second quarter revenue of $101.2 million, a 6 percent increase, and operating earnings of $13.1 million, a decrease of 2.6 percent, primarily due to lower political ad revenue.

Second quarter political ad revenue for the company decreased from $5.7 million in 2012 to $300,000 this year. 

The company’s broadcast revenue was up 15.3 percent, daily newspaper retail advertising revenue was up 2.8 percent, and publishing revenue was down 6.5 percent. 

“Journal Communications had a solid second quarter, driven by revenue gains in our broadcast group, as well as improving advertising revenue trends in publishing. Total revenue of $101.2 million was up 6 percent year-over-year,” said Steven J. Smith, Chairman and CEO of Journal Communications. “Operating earnings decreased 2.6 percent as lower political revenue offset operating earnings increases in broadcast, driven by NewsChannel 5 in Nashville, as well as higher earnings at our daily newspaper.”

“Within the Broadcast group, we continue to see core revenue growth. On a same-station basis and excluding political advertising, revenue was up 6 percent, with television up 7 percent and radio up 5 percent.”

“On the publishing side of the business, we continue to align costs with revenue. An emphasis on cost savings, coupled with improved revenue, drove second quarter operating earnings for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of $2.7 million, up nearly 36 percent year-over-year.”

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