TEGNA Reports First Quarter 2024 Results and Provides Second Quarter Guidance

TYSONS, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) today announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2024. 


  • Total company revenue was $714 million in the first quarter, down four percent year-over-year and at the midpoint of our guidance range, primarily due to lower subscription revenue, which was adversely impacted by a temporary disruption of service with a distribution partner, partially offset by higher political advertising dollars.
  • Subscription revenue was $375 million in the first quarter, down nine percent year-over-year, primarily due to subscriber declines, the temporary disruption of service with a distribution partner in January, and a year-end adjustment that benefited first quarter 2023 results, partially offset by contractual rate increases. The underlying subscription revenue trend is down mid-single digits percent year-over-year.
  • Advertising and Marketing Services (“AMS”) revenue was $299 million in the first quarter, down three percent year-over-year. While national advertising showed softness, local advertising trends in the first quarter showed positive growth reflected in strong performance in automotive, services, entertainment, restaurants, banking and finance categories.
  • GAAP operating expenses were $577 million, up two percent year-over-year. Non-GAAP operating expenses1 of $568 million finished, up one percent year-over-year due to increases in compensation expenses, partially offset by reduction in programming expenses.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP operating income totaled $138 million and $146 million, respectively.
  • Interest expense was slightly lower year-over-year at $42 million due to our reduced fees on undrawn balances as a result of downsizing of the revolving credit facility during the quarter.

1 A non-GAAP measure detailed in Table 2

  • TEGNA achieved net income of $190 million on a GAAP basis, or $80 million on a non-GAAP basis. Net income on a GAAP basis included a $116 million after-tax gain from the sale of TEGNA’s interest in Broadcast Music, Inc. during the quarter.
  • GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $1.06 and $0.45, respectively.
  • Total company Adjusted EBITDA2 was $174 million, representing a decrease of 15 percent compared to the first quarter of 2023 primarily due to lower subscription profits.
  • Adjusted free cash flow3 was $113 million for the quarter.
    • For the trailing two-year period ending March 31, 2024, Adjusted free cash flow as a percentage of revenue was 19.4 percent.
    • The Company is on track and reaffirming its expectation of 2024-2025 two-year Adjusted free cash flow guidance range of $900 million-$1.1 billion.
  • Cash and cash equivalents totaled $431 million at the end of the quarter. Net leverage finished the quarter at 2.8x.


TEGNA’s comprehensive capital allocation framework supports shareholder value creation through predictable and sustained return of capital. The Company continues to expect to return 40-60 percent of Adjusted free cash flow generated in 2024-2025 to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends, with the remaining free cash flow expected to be used for organic investments and/or bolt-on acquisitions and to prepare for future debt retirement. TEGNA will continue to analyze all uses of capital, including regular evaluation of the dividend, with a goal of maximizing long-term shareholder value creation.

Consistent with this framework, TEGNA is on track to return approximately $350 million of capital to shareholders in 2024 through dividends and opportunistic share repurchases from time to time on the open market at prevailing prices or in negotiated transactions.

During the first quarter, TEGNA returned more than $100 million of capital to shareholders with $82 million of share repurchases, representing 5.7 million shares, and paid $20 million in dividends. In February, the Company also received a final settlement of approximately four million shares related to the completion of our previously announced accelerated share repurchase (“ASR”) program launched in November 2023.

Additionally, the TEGNA Board approved a 10 percent increase to the Company’s regular quarterly dividend, from 11.375 to 12.5 cents per share, which reflects confidence in the durability of TEGNA’s free cash flow and strength of our balance sheet. This increase builds on a 20 percent increase to TEGNA’s dividend last year. The increased dividend announced today will be in effect for quarterly dividend payments, beginning with the July 1, 2024 payment, to stockholders of record as of the close of business on June 7, 2024.

2 A non-GAAP measure detailed in Table 3

3 A non-GAAP measure detailed in Table 5


“TEGNA remains focused on maximizing long-term value for our shareholders and delivering on our key priorities. We returned more than $100 million of capital to shareholders during the quarter and announced today that we are increasing our quarterly dividend by 10%,” said Dave Lougee, president and chief executive officer.

“We met our quarterly guidance metrics, with local advertising trends continuing to improve with positive performance in automotive and services, our two largest advertising categories as well as entertainment and restaurants. Our capabilities in local advertising are bolstered by Premion and deliver results for our clients in the converged linear and streaming television marketplace. The addition of Octillion further enhances Premion’s growth and margin potential by creating an even more attractive platform for advertisers, and we are already seeing early signs of success with our customers.

“In this new era of sports distribution, we are the first broadcast group with local television deals with teams across the NBA, WNBA, NHL and National Women’s Soccer League, including newly announced deals with the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, featuring first round pick Caitlin Clark, the NHL’s Seattle Kraken and National Women Soccer League’s Seattle Reign. These are win-win opportunities to marry local sports teams and their passionate fans with our strong station brands and our unparalleled distribution.

“We expect our previously announced business transformation initiatives to drive increased efficiency and generate annualized cost savings of $90-$100 million as we exit 2025. Several initiatives are already underway. In the quarter, we deployed a new, regional go-to-market strategy for digital advertising sales that reduces costs while better positioning TEGNA to capture and fulfill digital campaigns. Our business transformation initiatives and industry-leading balance sheet position us well to take advantage of accretive opportunities to expand and diversify our business while keeping net leverage under 3.0x.

“Looking ahead, 2024 is shaping up to be another robust political cycle and we’re in a good position to take our fair share driven by our favorable portfolio of stations in key competitive markets.”


Full-Year 2024 Key Guidance Metrics

TEGNA is reaffirming its guidance metrics for the full year of 2024, except for amortization, which is updated to include Octillion Media.

2024/2025 Two-Year Adjusted FCF

$900 million – 1.1 billion

Net Leverage Ratio

Below 3x at year end

Corporate Expenses

$40 – 45 million


$56 – 60 million


$51 – 55 million

Interest Expense

$170 – 173 million

Capital Expenditures

$62 – 67 million

Effective Tax Rate

23.5 – 24.5%

Second Quarter 2024 Key Guidance Metrics

Reflects expectations relative to second quarter 2023 results

Total Company GAAP Revenue

Down Low-to-Mid Single Digit Percent

Total Non-GAAP Operating Expenses



  • Premion Continues to Drive Growth with Local Advertisers – Premion continues to gain momentum with local advertisers by selling CTV advertising in a converged linear + streaming TV marketplace. The integration of Octillion Media with Premion is underway and will further drive innovation and streamline media buying processes. For the 2024 election cycle, Premion has expanded its programmatic selling capabilities, enabling advertisers and agencies to leverage a multi-faceted programmatic and managed service approach to executing CTV campaigns and driving measurable outcomes.
  • Caitlin Clark’s Indiana Fever Games to be Distributed in 12 Markets – TEGNA’s partnership with the Indiana Fever creates an unprecedented 12-market footprint to air 17 Indiana Fever games for free over the air in 2024. 4.6 million homes will have the opportunity to watch #1 overall draft pick Caitlin Clark, 2023 #1 overall pick and WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston, and the exciting Fever roster as they make a push to return to the playoffs.
  • TEGNA Completes Multi-year Deal with NHL’s Seattle Kraken – Beginning next season, TEGNA stations KING 5 and KONG in Seattle will broadcast Seattle Kraken games for free over the air. The games will also be broadcast on KGW in Portland and KREM in Spokane. TEGNA will work with additional broadcast companies to expand free over the air broadcast access to all available television markets in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. (Press release)
  • KING 5 and National Women’s Soccer League’s Seattle Reign Partner for Broadcast and Streaming – 11 regular season Seattle Reign games will air on KONG and on the free KING 5+ app during the 2024 season. As the official local broadcast partner of the Seattle Reign, KING will also provide fans with special access to post-game coverage, interviews and digital and social content.
  • “Cult Justice” Debuts on Hulu – Investigative series “Cult Justice,” which leverages TEGNA’s vast archival library of investigative content, debuted on Hulu on March 28. The series comes from TEGNA’s multi-year development partnership with top legal and true crime network Law&Crime and Cineflix Rights, the UK’s largest independent TV content distributor.
  • Disinformation Training for Journalists – Recognizing the continued threat of disinformation and misinformation, TEGNA continued ongoing training to assist our journalists and newsrooms in navigating the intricate web of misinformation and uphold the integrity of reporting, safeguarding trust with our viewers and communities.
  • TEGNA’s ‘BB+’ Issuer Credit Rating Affirmed and Outlook Stable – In March, S&P Global affirmed TEGNA’s issuer credit rating at ‘BB+’ and ‘outlook stable’ underscoring our industry-leading balance sheet.

TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is an innovative media company that serves the greater good of our communities. Across platforms, TEGNA tells empowering stories, conducts impactful investigations and delivers innovative marketing solutions. With 64 television stations in 51 U.S. markets, TEGNA is the largest owner of top 4 network affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups, reaching approximately 39 percent of all television households nationwide. TEGNA also owns leading multicast networks True Crime Network and Quest. TEGNA offers innovative solutions to help businesses reach consumers across television, digital and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Premion, TEGNA’s OTT advertising service. For more information, visit www.TEGNA.com.