March 6, 2015 Last Updated 9:35 am

Tribune Media reports 85% increase in revenues, 276% increase in profits

Broadcast side of Tribune Company spin off also reports big increase in digital revenue

It must feel good to no longer have to report print division results, ask Tribune Media, the new broadcast company formed from the split of The Tribune Company. Today the new company reported that operating revenues grew 85 percent, operating profit grew 276 percent, and the company declared a special dividend of $650 million.

“Our strong financial and operational results in the fourth quarter and full-year 2014 demonstrate the strength of our strategy to develop Tribune Media into a diverse modern media company,” said Peter Liguori, Tribune Media’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Diverse? Yes. Diversified, no. That is what media companies were attempting to do throughout the eighties and nineties, add broadcast properties to print, and print to broadcast, to create synergies and make sure that when one segment was struggling, there was another that could compensate.

One expects that those print companies that have recently been spun off will soon realize that diversifying their portfolio of products remains a good idea. They may be hampered by contractual obligations to avoid broadcast for a few years, but there are, of course, other options.

Meanwhile, most of these spin offs are being conducted with the digital assets going over to the broadcast side. At Tribune Media, for instance, the company was able to report that the Digital and Data segment revenues in came in at $61.2 million in Q4, compared to only $19.3 million in the same quarter of 2013.

Tribune Publishing, the other side of the spin off, reported that its digital advertising fell 18.7 percent, to $41.8 million in Q4 from $51.5 million in the same quarter of 2013.

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