The off-election year hit station operator Gray Television’s) Q3 results, and the company expects political revenue to off by a larger margin in the quarter to come.
Atlanta-based Gray saw revenue drop 9% to $73.585 million and operating income slide 50% to $9.9 million. The company recorded a net loss of $4.2 million versus a $519,000 gain a year ago. The loss per share was $0.09 versus a $0.01 gain in the prior-year period.
Political advertising was a drag on results as revenue dropped 86% to $1.45 million. The company expects political revenue to increase slightly to $2.1 million-$2.2 million in the quarter, but it will face a tougher comparable Q4 2006, when political revenue topped $25 million versus $10.6 million in Q3 2006.
Local advertising increased $2.5 million or 5% to $50.3 million in the quarter, while national ads slipped $300,000 or 1% to $19.2 million. Gray expects local ad revenue to increase 5%-8% in Q4 and national to increase in the low- to mid-single-digits.
Gray forecast Q4 revenue to be down 18%-19% to $82.5 million-$84 million.