Tribune Media First-Quarter Earnings Drop

Jeff Vespa/WireImage
Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori

Higher programming and marketing expenses at WGN America associated with original shows 'Outsiders' and 'Underground' were a drag on the bottom line.

Tribune Media, the entertainment company that was created by the split of the Tribune Co., on Tuesday reported lower first-quarter earnings.

The company, led by CEO Peter Liguori, has been expanding original programming at its WGN America and has seen growing retransmission consent fees.

The company's first-quarter earnings reached $11.1 million, or 12 cents per share, below Wall Street expectations and compared with $36.4 million or 37 cents in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $520.5 million as core advertising revenue grew 2.2 percent. Retransmission consent revenue increased 21 percent, while carriage fee revenue jumped 44 percent.

Audience and CPMs at WGN America are also up significantly thanks to the success of two new original programs launched in Q1, Outsiders and Underground.

However, planned increases in programming and marketing expenses at WGN America associated with those shows were a drag on the bottom line.

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