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After reporting record results for the third quarter, Tegna executives say growth is continuing in the current quarter for all major ad categories except auto. And Tegna President-CEO Dave Lougee is gung-ho on predicting that the company’s local stations footprint will bring in record political dollars next year. But there’s one major topic he’s not discussing.
“As we stated in our press release on Sept. 21, we have received — and the board has been actively considering — acquisition proposals. We are carefully evaluating these proposals against our standalone prospects. Meanwhile, and importantly, our team remains sharply focused on the continued day-to-day execution of our business and strategy, as evidenced by the strong quarter we have just reported. As I’m sure you will understand, that is all we will say at this time, so we won’t be taking questions on this topic,” Lougee told analysts in Tegna’s quarterly conference call Thursday morning following release of its third quarter results.
Advertising and Marketing services (AMS) revenues rose 12% pro forma for the third quarter compared to pre-COVID 2019, and Lougee noted proudly that the gain was still 7% excluding the impact of the Olympics. Other growing ad categories are more than making up for the supply-chain-impacted auto category.
“Sports betting is now our seventh-largest category and rising, growing more than 200% over the third quarter of last year. And we expect its growth to further diversify our AMS revenue. Online sports betting didn’t exist as recently as three years ago, but