Q4 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/04/2014

Operator: Good day, everyone, and welcome to Gannett's Fourth Quarter 2013 Earnings Conference Call. This call is being recorded. Due to the large number of callers, we will limit you to one question or comment. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and courtesy. Our speaker for today will be Gracia Martore, President and CEO; and Victoria Harker, Chief Financial Officer.

At this time I'd like to turn the call over to Jeff Heinz, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, Sir.

Jeffrey Heinz - VP, IR: Thanks Vicki. Good morning and welcome to our earnings call and webcast. Today our President and CEO, Gracia Martore, and CFO, Victoria Harker will review Gannett's fourth quarter 2013 results. After their prepared commentary, we will open up the call for questions. Hopefully, you've had the opportunity to review this morning's press release. If you have not seen it yet, it's available at gannett.com.

Before we get started, I'd like to remind you that this conference call and webcast include forward-looking statements, and our actual results may differ. Factors that might 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, I would turn the call over to Gracia.

Gracia C. Martore - President and CEO: Thanks, Jeff, and good morning, everyone. Let me join Jeff in welcoming you to our earnings conference call this morning.

I'm going to provide a high-level overview of our fourth quarter results, and I'm going to update you on the strong progress we've made on our strategic initiatives, as well as on the integration of Belo into our Broadcasting portfolio. After that, Victoria is going to review the financial performance of each of our segments, as well as some balance sheet items and some assumptions for 2014.

Before I kick things off with our fourth quarter results, I'd like to just remind everyone that a couple of the comparative factors made this a difficult quarter to easily assess by purely looking at our reported numbers. First off, the reported comparisons include an extra week in the fourth quarter of 2012, 14 weeks versus 13 weeks in 2013. Secondly, we were also up against a record level of political advertising, over $91 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, a formidable amount in decline. So the issues impacting those comparisons need mentioning because they could mask the very good performance of our Company for the fourth quarter and the full year.

Again, as I said in the fourth quarter, we were up against a huge amount of political advertising in 2012. But I think we did a fantastic job capturing additional demand. Just to put that in perspective. The amount of political advertising we achieved in the fourth quarter of 2012 was a bit more than we achieved in all of 2010, and slightly less than what we achieved for all of 2008, the previous Presidential election year.

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