Gannett Posts Record Quarterly Broadcasting Financials

A stock specialist on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange August 5, 2011 - H
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The USA Today publisher previously announced it would separate its broadcasting business and publishing operation

TV station and newspaper group Gannett on Monday posted record quarterly financials for its broadcasting unit as part of its third-quarter earnings report.

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.

Read more Gannett Broadcast Unit Hits Record Full-Year Financials

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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