Total net revenues, excluding all Political revenues, are expected to increase 7-8%, compared with the first quarter of 2012.
Starting with the full-year 2013, Media General's fiscal year will conform to a conventional calendar year ( Jan. 1 – Dec. 31). Previously, the company's fiscal year ended on the last Sunday in December, a newspaper industry practice. The first quarter of 2012 began on December 26, 2011 and ended on March 26, 2012. The first quarter of 2013 began on January 1 and will end on March 31.
Media General's near-term focus is on organic growth and reducing its cost of capital.Media General continues to evaluate the options for refinancing at a lower interest rate its 11.75% Senior Notes that are callable on or before February 2014. The company will have the option of using any cash on the balance sheet at the time of refinancing to reduce the total amount to be refinanced. Every one percent reduction in the interest rate would yield interest expense savings of approximately $3 million. Media General expects its 2013 results will meaningfully exceed the prior odd-numbered year of 2011 when EBITDA from continuing operations was $56 million and Broadcast Cash Flow was $89 million. The broadcast industry customarily compares odd-numbered years to odd years and even-numbered years to even years due to the impact of Political and Olympics revenues in the even-numbered years.
Revenues As expected in an odd-numbered year in the broadcast television industry, total revenues will decrease from 2012, mostly due to the absence of non-recurring Political revenues. Political revenues in 2013 are expected to be approximately $5 million, compared with $64 million in 2012. All Media General stations have in place revenue initiatives and new business development plans focused on driving growth in core Local revenues. These initiatives include successful programs that have helped offset the absence of Political revenues in prior odd-numbered years and ones that have already made a positive contribution in the first quarter of 2013, including incentive trips and other local advertising promotions and community campaigns.