Journal Posts Revenue Gains For Fourth Quarter 2014
March 13, 2015 at 3:51 AM (PT)
Both radio and overall revenue rose for JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS, INC. in fourth quarter 2014 as the company nears its merger with E.W. SCRIPPS.
Overall revenue increased 13.6% to $122 million, while radio revenue jumped 7.7% to $22.1 million (excluding a change in the company's fiscal year, up 5.5%). Revenue increases were primarily due to political and issue revenue, without which overall revenue would have only increased by 0.4%; radio, however, would have still increased 4.9% without political and issue ads and local revenue would have increased by 6.5% (powered by a 13% increase in automotive revenue), although national revenue would have shown a 0.9% decrease. Diluted earnings per share also rose from 22 to 31 cents.
Television revenue, like radio headed for SCRIPPS, increased 32.9% to $60 million; publishing, to be retained in the new JOURNAL MEDIA GROUP, fell 4.3% to $40 million.
Chairman/CEO STEVEN J. SMITH said, “JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS delivered a solid fourth quarter. Results were driven by political and issue advertising, gains in retransmission revenue and local revenue growth in radio. Consolidated revenue of $122.0 million was up 13.6% compared to 2013, though up 11.1% excluding the change in our fiscal year in 2014.
“Within the television group, revenue was up 33%, or 30% excluding the fiscal year change and radio revenue was up almost 8%, or more than 5% excluding the fiscal year change. Television retransmission revenue grew to $9.8 million in the quarter. Publishing saw revenue down 4%, or more than 6% excluding the change in fiscal year. Publishing also remained focused on cost cutting efforts, resulting in almost $2 million in workforce reduction charges in the quarter with annualized savings of more than $3.2 million from our workforce actions in 2014. Publishing costs were down more than 6%, excluding these charges and the change in the fiscal year.
“The balance sheet of the company remained strong as we reduced debt by almost $78 million and increased cash balances to more than $13 million, leaving us net debt of just over $117 million at the end of 2014.”