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Quarterly revenue in the broadcasting business rose 105 percent, or 19 percent when excluding acquisitions, over the year-ago quarter to $416.5 million. Broadcasting operating profit of $179.5 million for the latest period was up 47 percent.
The company cited higher retransmission fees and political advertising revenue as boosting results. The acquisition of Belo Corp. further increased results.
Gannett’s retransmission revenue amounted to $92 million, up 61 percent. TV station digital revenue increased by 24.1 percent, with political ad revenue rising to $40 million.
Gannett’s total revenue was up 15.2 percent in the third quarter to $1.44 billion, or 3.8 percent when excluding acquisitions, with earnings up 36.6 percent at $136.3 million.
The USA Today publisher this summer said that it would create two publicly traded companies by separating its broadcasting and digital businesses from its publishing operation.
The planned separation, similar to the one executed by Tribune Co., will take place via a tax-free distribution of Gannett’s publishing assets to shareholders and is expected to take place mid-2015. “The transaction will create two focused companies with increased opportunities to grow organically across all businesses as well as pursue strategic acquisitions,” the company said.
Last year, Gannett agreed to acquire TV station owner Belo Corp. for $2.2 billion.
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