Operating Income Up at Sinclair Broadcast Group in Q4

Lower Political Revenues Sink Ad-Sales Totals; Super Bowl XLII Gets TV-Station Owner Off to Good Start in 2008

Operating income at Sinclair Broadcast Group was $47 million for the fourth quarter of 2007, up from $38.2 million in the same quarter of 2006. Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $165.7 million for the quarter, down 2.1% from the prior year.

For the year, net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $622.6 million, down .7% from the $627.1 million posted in 2006. Operating income was $159.2 million for the year, up 0.3%.

Holding Sinclair’s quarterly numbers down was the lack of political money: $2.2 million for the quarter compared with $21.1 million the year before.

Local advertising revenues were up 1.1% in the quarter, while national advertising plummeted 18.6% due to the lack of political.

Time sales on Sinclair’s Fox and CBS stations were up 0.4% and 10.6% for the quarter, respectively, while ABC, MyNetworkTV and NBC were down 18.3%, 10.4% and 22%, respectively. The CW stations were flat.

President and CEO David Smith said Sinclair finished 2007 “on a very positive note. Our advertising-time sales during the fourth quarter of 2007 were up on a local and national basis, excluding political revenues, while advertising spending by the automotive sector, which has been down for some time, posted a 1.9% increase in the quarter.”

Smith said Super Bowl XLII, which aired on Sinclair’s 19 Fox affiliates, got the broadcaster off on the right foot in 2008.