Fisher Posts 9.5% Increase in TV Revenue

Q1 looks strong, and spat with dissident shareholders comes to head at annual meeting

Fisher Communications reported first quarter television net revenue of $29.1 million, a 9.5% increase over the same quarter a year ago. Excluding political revenue, TV revenue increased 12.3%.

The company's radio net revenue decreased 1% to $5.2 million. Total consolidated revenue, including Fisher Plaza, was $37.9 million in the quarter, up 7.3% from the first quarter in 2010.

Fisher cited an increase in operating costs that included $0.8 million related to the ongoing proxy contest conducted by FrontFour Capital Group. The majority of Fisher's board, including president and CEO Colleen Brown, has been battling a dissident faction of shareholders. Board elections occur at the company's annual shareholder meeting May 11.

"Fisher's successful execution of its strategic plan has continued our business growth by improving ratings, growing revenue share and adding new advertising categories and local solutions," said Colleen Brown. "The strong revenue and EBITDA growth we delivered in the first quarter reflects our market leading positions and the power of our brands, which has allowed Fisher to take full advantage of the early advertising recovery."

Brown said the company remains particularly bullish on Fisher's web strategy. "We are combining these multi-platform offerings with innovative advertising solutions to better position Fisher to capture a larger share of the total market advertising spend," she said. "Our ability to leverage the strength of our core broadcasting assets with technological innovation has put Fisher at the forefront of redefining our industry for the future."
Fisher's retransmission consent revenue increased 25% to $3.3 million.

Seattle-based Fisher owns or operates 13 full-power television stations, 7 low-power stations, and 8 radio stations in the western United States.