That’s an improvement on last year’s first quarter loss of $5.1 million. TV revenue was up 10%, radio up 7%.
Fisher Communications Inc. reported a net loss of $1.7 million in the first quarter of 2006 ended March 31, compared to net loss of $5.1 million in the first quarter of 2005.
Fisher Communications is a Seattle-based integrated media company. The company’s nine network-affiliated television stations, and a tenth station 50% owned by Fisher Communications, are located in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, and its 27 radio stations broadcast in Washington and Montana. The company also owns and operates Fisher Plaza, a facility located near downtown Seattle.
Fisher Communications’ revenue increased 9% in the first quarter of 2006 to a total of $33.8 million, as compared to $31.0 million in the first quarter of 2005. “We gained solid revenue and net operating improvements in the first quarter of 2006—especially in our large-market ABC-affiliated television stations and our Seattle radio stations,” commented Colleen B. Brown, Fisher’s president and CEO. “Though the first quarter of the year is generally seasonally lower in the broadcasting industry, we are very encouraged by our first-quarter 2006 results and look forward to the remainder of the year.” Television revenue increased $2.0 million, or 10%, in the first quarter of 2006, in comparison to the first quarter of 2005; radio revenue increased $0.6 million, or 7%, in the same periods. These increases in broadcasting revenue occurred in both local and national revenue categories.
Cost of services sold in the first quarter of 2006 decreased $0.9 million, or 5%, as compared to the first quarter of 2005, due in part to reduced syndicated programming expenses. General and administrative expenses in the first quarter of 2006 decreased $1.3 million, or 13%, as compared to the first quarter of 2005, primarily as a result of first-quarter 2005 separation expenses of approximately $1.0 million for the company’s former chief executive officer, as well as reduced personnel levels in the 2006 period. Depreciation expense decreased in the same quarterly comparative periods due primarily to lower levels of depreciation as certain assets have become fully depreciated.
Fisher Plaza revenue increased 13% in the first quarter of 2006, primarily as a result of increased occupancy and services fees. The company recently signed agreements for additional third-party data center customers that increase Fisher Plaza occupancy to 95% in the fall of 2006 (after the tenants’ completion of required build-outs).