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Gray Q4 Revenue Up 12% - Broadcasting & Cable

Gray Q4 Revenue Up 12%

Sees big boost in 2009 retrans
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Gray Television reported $94.8 million in revenue for the fourth quarter, a 12% boost over the previous year's fourth quarter. For the whole of 2008, Gray revenue was up 6%.

Gray cited increased political and internet advertising for the gain. A nearly $25 million political haul offset a 17% drop in local ad revenue and 24% slip in national ad revenue.

The broadcaster forecasted a big year for retransmission consent revenue, calling for a $15-$16 million bounty, compared to the $3 million in retrans Gray grabbed last year.

Gray said it would continue to cut costs at its stations, with a 7% reduction in payroll and related expenses in the first quarter of 2009. The company said it anticipates a 7.5% reduction in broadcast operating expenses for the full year, saving Gray around $15 million. The company announced it has suspended matching 401(k) contributions.

Atlanta-based Gray runs 30 stations.

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