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J2 COMMUNICATIONS (NATIONAL LAMPOON) REPORTS SHARPLY REDUCED 4TH QUARTER LOSS; PROJECTS PROFIT IN FIRST FISCAL QUARTER

 LOS ANGELES, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- J2 Communications (NASDAQ: JTWO) parent company of National Lampoon, today reported an anticipated net loss for the fiscal year ended July 31, 1993, and a sharply reduced loss for the fourth fiscal quarter. It also projected positive earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 1994, which ends Oct. 31, 1993.
 Net loss for the fourth quarter decreased by 62 percent to $162,000 ($0.05 per share), compared to $430,000 ($0.14 per share) for the comparable period in 1992. Revenues for the fourth quarter totaled $357,000, down from $493,000 in 1992.
 For 1993 the loss amounted to $1,310,000 ($0.41 per share), compared to a loss of $1,165,000 ($0.37 per share) for 1992. Revenues decreased from $4,472,000 to $1,693,000, primarily due to a reduced magazine publishing schedule and a de-emphasizing of home video operations.
 Results for fiscal 1993 include a charge for the establishment of a reserve in connection with the settlement of certain legal actions, provisions for an inventory write-down and additions to bad debt reserves associated with video operations.
 James P. Jimirro, J2 president and chief executive officer, stated, "We are right where we projected we would be when we bought National Lampoon in late 1990. We anticipated three years of losses during our turn-around program, followed by profitability. We've actually completed the turn-around in a little less than three years. Now we're projecting a small profit in the quarter ending Oct. 31." He also noted that National Lampoon, prior to its acqusition by J2, hadn't shown a profit in years.
 Jimirro also said that the company plans to continue aggressively expanding the reach of the National Lampoon comedy franchise during fiscal 1994. In the fiscal year just ended, the company has seen the release of "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I," its first feature film since the 1990 acquisition. In addition, "National Lampoon's Chess Maniac 5 Billion & 1," an interactive chess game, reached the market in the spring. Spring also saw a sneak preview of "National Lampoon's Lemmings II," a new version of the classic 1970's stage show, "Lemmings." Also brought to market were a collection of National Lampoon trading cards and the first proprietary National Lampoon audio program -- "The Lost Tapes."
 Projects set into development in fiscal 1993 included the first National Lampoon made-for-video movie, "National Lampoon's Last Resort" (set for release in early 1994), two television series, a variety of books, and a line of greeting cards.
 In September 1993 the company announced an agreement with KBD Arts Inc. to develop location-based entertainment complexes. These sites will feature restaurants, specialty retail merchandise and entertainment, with each element themed to National Lampoon comedy.
 In conclusion, Jimirro stated, "We have entered fiscal '94 with a clean balance sheet, and a host of exciting properties either on the market or in development. We're particularly enthused about our next feature film which, under our agreement with New Line, is scheduled to start shooting by Jan. 3, 1994. So, all in all, National Lampoon is exactly where we said it would be -- and exactly where it should be."
 -0- 10/25/93
 /CONTACT: Duncan Murray, 310-474-5252/
 (JTWO)


CO: JC Communications ST: California IN: ENT SU: ERN

LM-JB -- LA014 -- 6126 10/25/93 08:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 25, 1993
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