Media General Inc., the Richmond, Va.-based publisher of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and The Tampa Tribune, reported a loss of $62.5 million, or $2.80 per share, in the third quarter today.
In 2008's third quarter, the media company had a profit of $6.1 million, or 27 cents per share. Revenue reportedly dropped 18 percent to $158 million.
The absence of Olympic and political ad revenues, which contributed about $18.5 million in sales a year ago, were the reasons for the downturn, the company said.
Chief executive officer Marshall Morton conceded that the "advertising environment in the third quarter remained challenging."
Media General says a hefty write-down in the value of its assets took profits down by $84 million. Excluding special items, it says earnings would have come to $4.4 million, or 20 cents per share.