TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

May 08, 2018 • 08:30 am ET

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TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day and welcome to the TEGNA First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Jeff Heinz. Please go ahead.

Executive
Jeffrey R. Heinz

Thanks, Cassi. Good morning and welcome to our first quarter 2018 earnings call and webcast. Today, our President and CEO, Dave Lougee; and our CFO, Victoria Harker, will review TEGNA's financial performance and results. After that, we'll open the call for questions. Hopefully, you've had the opportunity to review this morning's press release. If you have not yet seen a copy of the release, it's available at TEGNA.com.

Before we get started, I'd like remind that this conference call and webcast includes forward-looking statements and our actual results may differ. Factors that may cause them to differ are outlined in our SEC filings. This presentation also includes certain non-GAAP financial measures. We have provided reconciliations of those measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures in the press release and on the Investor Relations portion of our website.

With that, let me turn the call over to Dave.

Executive
David T. Lougee

Thank you, Jeff, and good morning, everyone. Today I'll review our progress in the quarter that gives us further proof that our growth strategy is on track and that we're well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities before us. Our first quarter revenue was up 12% year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis which was at the high-end of our guidance and a record first quarter in revenue in the history of our broadcasting business. Excluding revenue from the tailwinds of Super Bowl, Olympics and Political, our revenue still grew nearly 6%.

Subscription revenue was up 13%. Importantly, we have seen three months of sequential growth in total paid subs, a combination of traditional MVPDs subscribers, along with subscribers to new virtual MVPDs services, like DIRECTV NOW, Hulu and YouTube TV. Specifically, we saw a positive reversal of total sub-trends in the fourth quarter that has continued into the first quarter and is a reflection of how critical our strong broadcast affiliates are to these new virtual MVPDs. As if today, we now have more than a million virtual MVPD subs and our total subscriber trends are strongest in our largest market DMAs, which I'll be glad to give further color on during the Q&A portion of this call.

And while due to seasonality, we don't necessarily anticipate positive month-over-month total sub growth every month this year, the trends and the relationship between traditional and new virtual MVPD subs are becoming clearer to us. As a result, we're raising our subscription revenue guidance for full year 2018 to being up in the mid-teens. Also, during the quarter, TEGNA stations dominated audience metrics in both the Super Bowl and the Olympics. For the Super Bowl, TEGNA stations ranked number 1, nationally in both ratings and share among all NBC affiliates, and had four of the top 10 in the adults 25 to 54 demographic.

For the Olympics, TEGNA stations in