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Political ads push Gannett revenues up

11% jump reported in 2nd quarter

Strong demand for political advertising drove an 11.2% revenue gain at Gannett Co.’s TV stations for the second quarter.

Revenues at Gannett’s 23 affiliate stations climbed to $197.7 million, fueled by a $9 million gain in political blurbs as well as strong demand from automotive and other core local TV advertisers. Excluding the impact of political spending, television revenues still jumped 6.2%.

Retrans revenue also took a big 17.1% jump from the year-ago quarter to $22.7 million.

Gannett said in its second quarter report that its expecting healthy revenue percentage gains, in the low-30s range, for the third quarter thanks to the influx of ad coin from the summer Olympics and increased political spending.

Operating income for Gannett’s broadcasting segment, which includes its Captivate service that provides programming to hotels and elevators, was up 17.6% for the quarter to $94.6 million.

Overall, the company that also owns USA Today and more than 80 other newspapers saw total revenue for the quarter ease 2.1% from the year-ago period to $1.31 billion. Net income dropped 20.9% to $119.9 million.

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