LIN TV Revenue Drops 4% - Broadcasting & Cable

LIN TV Revenue Drops 4%

Political and digital can't offset advertising ills
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LIN TV reported net revenues for the fourth quarter of $104.2 million, down 4% from the same quarter last year. Political revenues were $24.4 million for the quarter, up from $3.2 million in the previous fourth quarter. Digital revenues increased 96% to $9.3 million.

Retransmission fees increased 128% in the quarter and 114% for the full 2008. LIN worked out a retransmission consent agreement with Time Warner Cable in the fourth quarter, after LIN had removed the signals for 15 stations from the Time Warner system.

For the full 2008, net revenue was up 1% from 2007 to $399.8 million.

"We are operating in a severe recessive economy and the financial distress on automakers, as well as the significant declines in consumer and business spending are negatively impacting television advertising sales," said President/CEO Vincent L. Sadusky. "In response, we have taken significant actions to improve our efficiency, as well as our balance sheet. Our plans to adjust our cost structure, re-engineer workflow throughout our TV stations, and execute an aggressive program to reduce our debt should positively impact our operating performance and financial condition."

"Our leading news stations are focused on maximizing multi-platform advertising spending, new business development and digital revenue growth. Digital revenues continue to differentiate our company and were a major factor in our ability to increase net revenues by 1% in 2008. Compared to our peers, LIN TV delivered one of our industry's strongest results."

Sadusky said he remains positive amidst the economic maelstrom. "We are confident in the fundamentals of the TV broadcast business and our ability to expand digitally," he said. "We expect to operate a very healthy and cost efficient business now and well into the future."

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