Gray Television’s first quarter revenue was $133.3 million, the highest for any first quarter in the company’s history, and a 46% increase over the first quarter of 2015. Station acquisitions helped pace the group, which was up against high revenue numbers from 2014, when Gray benefited from the Olympics. Those purchases include stations in Toledo, Flint and Sioux Falls.
Local advertising revenue increased 34% in the quarter and national revenue increased 33%. Internet advertising revenue increased 8%, political advertising was down 58%, and retransmission consent revenue increased 125% at Gray TV, to $36.3 million.
Broadcasting expenses in the expanded group grew 44% in the quarter. Net income grew 338%.
Gray tabulated a “Combined Historical Basis”, reflecting financial results that add Gray's historical revenue and broadcast expenses with the historical revenue and broadcast expenses of the acquired stations from January 1, 2014. Total revenue in that metric increased $12.5 million, or 10%, to $133.3 million in the first quarter.
Atlanta-based Gray anticipates second quarter local advertising revenue, excluding political advertising revenue, will increase 31% to 34%, with national revenue going up 27% to 29%. Gray also forecasts retransmission consent revenue increasing approximately 110% in the second quarter to $37.0 million.