LIN Media reported net revenues of $100.8 million in the third quarter, down 3% from the same quarter a year ago. Political revenues decreased by 78% in the quarter to $2.8 million. Digital revenues, which include retransmission consent fees, increased by 38% to $22.1 million in the quarter.
LIN's operating income was $20.6 million, compared to operating income of $26.8 million for the third quarter of 2010.
Core local and national advertising sales combined, which excludes political advertising sales, were flat at $85 million for the third quarter. Sales in the automotive category, which represented 24% of local and national advertising sales for the three months, decreased by 3% to $20.4 million.
"Our continued digital revenue growth helped offset the decrease in political revenue and current economic challenges," said LIN President/CEO Vincent Sadusky. "We are encouraged to see positive indicators for the fourth quarter and our new senior secured credit facility reduces our cost of capital and provides financial flexibility, positioning us well for 2012."
LIN expects fourth quarter 2011 net revenues will decrease by between 10% and 13%, driven largely by the normal odd-year decline in political advertising revenues.