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Acme Station Revenue Up 2% - Broadcasting & Cable

Acme Station Revenue Up 2%

Shrinking company still plugging exit strategy
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Acme Communications reported continuing station revenue of $3.49 million in the first quarter, a 2% gain over the first quarter last year. Net revenues from continuing operations increased 5% to $3.5 million for the quarter, compared to the first quarter last year. Revenues at syndicated morning show The Daily Buzz increased 16% for the quarter.

Acme's board of directors has approved a special cash distribution of $.35 per share. The broadcaster's loss before income taxes from discontinued operations for the first quarter was $296,000, compared to a loss of $329,000 in the first quarter of 2010. The company's net loss for the first quarter was $1.7 million, compared to a $1.9 million net loss for the first quarter of 2010.

Acme's total operating costs decreased 4% to $3.9 million for the first quarter, due mainly to cost savings at KWBQ/KASY Albuquerque-Santa Fe derived from a shared services agreement with LIN, and what it called "reduced compensation expense."

During the second quarter, Acme completed the sale of three stations: WBXX Knoxville, WBDT Dayton and WCWF Green Bay Appleton (formerly WIWB). The results of those stations are treated as discontinued operations for all periods presented, said Acme, and continuing operations now consist of Acme's KWBQ-KASY, its station in Madison, and its Daily Buzz production entity in Orlando, FL.

Last year, Acme outsourced much of the Daily Buzz business to Fisher in what the parties called a "licensing and consulting agreement."

"Market conditions continue to improve and we are cautiously optimistic that this positive trend will continue at our three remaining continuing stations and The Daily Buzz through the remainder of the year, though we are seeing softness in the second quarter in the automotive category," said Doug Gealy, Acme president and CEO. "Our recently completed station sales were pinnacle events for the company and we are delighted to be in a position to declare this special distribution to our shareholders."

Gealy said the company remains eager to exit the broadcasting business, and continues to cut costs. "We will remain focused on prudently liquidating our remaining assets," he said.

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