Tribune Media CEO Bullish on Political Ad Revenue for 2016

Peter Liguori promised the company would bring in more revenue from political ads than in 2012: "We're going to crush that number."

Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori is very bullish about the upcoming presidential primaries and general election, which should put lots of advertising dollars in the TV company's coffers.

Liguori said that in 2012 Tribune made about $155 million in political advertising revenue, and he promised Monday that "we're going to crush that number in 2016."

Liguori, a former Discovery Communications and Fox executive who joined Tribune in 2013, said he expects about $5 billion in political advertising in 2016 overall, and his company's TV stations will aggressively pursue as much of that as possible.

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He noted that Tribune has stations in 13 swing states, where both parties should spend liberally, as well as three stations in California, where about $1 billion ought to be spent on TV advertising. 

"We're going to take advantage of that," he said.

Liguori was speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco.

He also told attendees that local news is an "under-appreciated" business, and in some markets those broadcasts are up 40 to 50 percent or more.

The CEO also called 2015 "a pivot year" for WGN America, Tribune's revamped flagship entertainment network that is in the process of changing two-thirds of its primetime schedule.