$14 in political ad money can’t overcome lower ad sales across the board as revenue drops to $86.6 million.
The Washington Post Co. today reported that revenue for its television broadcasting division decreased 7% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to $86.6 million, from $93.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, due to weaker advertising demand in most markets and product categories, offset by a $13.9 million increase in political advertising revenues. Excluding the increased political advertising, revenues were $72.7 million, a 22% decline from the fourth quarter of 2007.
Television broadcasting division operating income for the fourth quarter declined 10% to $37.1 million, from $41.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2007. The decline in operating income, the company said, is due to revenue declines, offset by $2 million in non-cash gains in the fourth quarter of 2008.
In July 2008, the company announced an agreement with NBC Universal to acquire WTVJ, the NBC-owned and operated station in Miami. The agreement was subject to approval by the FCC and required that the transaction close by the end of 2008. The regulatory approval process was not completed by the end of 2008; consequently, the agreement expired.
For the company as a whole, net income for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $18.8 million ($2.01 per share), compared with $82.9 million ($8.71 per share) for the fourth quarter of 2007.