Rebranded Tribune Media Beats Earnings Expectations, Though Profits Fall

Multimedia company spun off publishing business in the third quarter

Tribune Media Company (TRBAA) reported earnings of $0.38 a share in the third quarter of 2014 on revenue of $474.9 million on Tuesday.

The company’s profit fell to $38 million, down from $49.8 million during the same period last year. Q3’s EPS dropped from $0.50 last year in 2013 to $0.38 in 2014.

Still, the company beat Wall Street’s expectations of $0.31 a share and $432 million in revenue. Tribune cited longterm initiatives implemented last year as starting to pay off; the company also paid off a debt $275 million during the quarter.

Tribune’s TV and Entertainment business was the main money maker, posting a 68 percent increase in revenue to $417.2 million compared to $248.2 million in the third quarter of 2013.

Its Digital and Data wing also grew from a revenue standpoint, though on a smaller scale.

It was a busy third quarter for Tribune. In August, the company rebranded itself, evolving from Tribune Company to Tribune Media Company on the heels of spinning off its publishing business into a separate media company. The change doubled the size of the company’s broadcast group while re-launching its national cable network, WGN America. The next month, it acquired Baseline, a movie and TV database, for $50 million.

“We are pleased to see many of the long-term initiatives we have put in place since early 2013 begin to take shape,” said Peter Liguori, Tribune Media’s president and CEO. “Our recently achieved scale has put us in a competitive position to drive affiliate fees, expand our capabilities to maximize political advertising revenues and fortify our relationships with our network partners.

“The strong cash flows generated by our business have enabled us to develop a general entertainment cable network, pursue a content ownership strategy and invest in building our data business,” he continued. “I am confident that the combination of our media assets and strong operational focus will keep us on the path for continued success.”