LIN Q3 Revenues Fall 18%

Fourth quarter looks better, but not much

LIN TV's net revenue was $81.4 million for the third quarter, an 18% decrease over the same quarter last year. Digital revenues, including Internet advertising and retransmission consent fees, increased 28%, to $10.4 million. On its own, retransmission consent revenue was up 36% in the third quarter.

LIN reported a 9% decrease in general operating expenses. Operating income was $13.8 million, well down from the $24.5 million posted in last year's third quarter.

"As anticipated, the economic conditions in our markets remained difficult which resulted in reduced advertising expenditures by our advertisers," said LIN President/CEO Vincent Sadusky. "Our efficiency plan resulted in meaningful expense reductions and coupled with digital revenue growth, allowed us to exceed our guidance. Looking ahead, the pace of economic growth and recovery remains uncertain, however, we are experiencing modest improvement in advertising demand. We believe our productivity gains, continued growth in our digital business and the return of political advertising will result in significant cash flow growth in 2010."

At this time last year, broadcasters were gravely impacted by the economy's freefall, but still had ample political advertising coming in.

LIN expects that fourth quarter net revenue will be down in the range of 8.8% to 14.6%, compared to the fourth quarter last year. LIN forecasts a full-year net revenue decrease of 16.6% to 18.1%

LIN acquired Red McCombs Media for $7.9 million on October 2.