Tribune Media Second Quarter Results Mixed Amid Lower Political Ad Revenue

Tribune Media (TRCO) posted mixed results for its second quarter on Friday, with better-than-expected earnings while total operating revenue declined amid a drop in political advertising revenue.

The company, which operates a portfolio of television and digital properties covering news, entertainment and sports, generated total operating revenue of $484 million, just shy of the consensus estimate of analysts polled by Capital IQ for $484.3 million and down from the prior-year period’s $489.4 million.

Television and entertainment accounted for the lion’s share of revenue, worth $482.6 million, down 1% from $486.4 million a year earlier. The decrease was driven by a $17.6 million fall in political advertising revenues and a $6.4 million decrease in other revenues. This was partially offset by gains in retransmission revenues, core advertising revenues and digital advertising revenues.

Adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.79, up from $0.99 a year earlier and comfortably ahead of the Street’s forecast for $0.71.

Total expenses, excluding an expected increase in network affiliate fees from the Fox renewal last year, were down on a year-over-year basis. Direct operating expenses came in at $98.09 billion, down from $98.82 billion a year earlier.

Consolidated operating expenses, however, increased to $410.8 million compared to $391.3 million a year earlier primarily due to higher network affiliate fees.

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