Broadcasting revenue boosts Gannett profit

A copy of USA Today owned by Gannett Company is displayed at a newsstand on August 5, 2014 in San Francisco, California.
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Gannett, publisher of USA Today, reported a 24 percent rise in quarterly revenue as television broadcasting revenue more than doubled.

Revenue from the print business, which it plans to spin off, fell 6 percent to $885.5 million in the fourth quarter.

Broadcasting revenue rose 117 percent to $495.3 million, helped by increased TV retransmission revenue and higher spending on political advertising.

Gannett said in August that it would spin off its print operations, including USA Today, joining a host of media companies separating slower-growing publishing assets from TV and digital properties.

Broadcasting contributes about 16.3 percent of Gannett's total revenue.

Revenue in the digital business, which includes Cars.com and CareerBuilder, rose 76.6 percent to $345.4 million.

Net income attributable to Gannett rose to $676 million, or $2.92 per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 28 from $90.7 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.02 per share, well above the average analyst estimate of $1.

Revenue rose from $1.37 billion to $1.7 billion. Analysts on average had expected $1.74 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Gannett shares rose 1.5 percent at $31.98 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

(Disclosure: CNBC.com has a content-sharing agreement with USA Today.)