The company, which owns 42 local TV stations and cable network WGN America, reported revenue of $484 million in the period, a shade lower than Wall Street analysts’ consensus forecasts. Earnings per share, adjusted for special items, came in at 79 cents, beating the consensus for 73 cents.
Comparisons with the 2018 period, which had robust political ad spending, were difficult but core ad revenue still climbed 1% to $276 million. Retransmission and carriage fee revenue gained 10% to $173.1 million.
The company said the $4.1 billion acquisition by Nexstar remains on track to close in the third quarter.
“Tribune Media’s second quarter financial results were strong thanks to continued year-over-year growth in core advertising, digital advertising and retransmission revenues; all of which largely offset the anticipated decline in political advertising revenue during the quarter,” CEO Peter Kern said. “In addition to the revenue growth in these areas, we were able to keep a tight grip on our cost structure. As a result, total expenses, excluding the expected increase in network affiliate fees from the Fox renewal last year, were down on a year-over-year basis.”
Due to the pending Nexstar deal, Kern did not convene a conference call with analysts. The company has also not provided full-year financial guidance.