Political and Internet advertising are the catalysts. Looking ahead the company expects to generate $15 million-$16 million in retrans money this year, up from $3 million in 2008.
Gray Television Inc. today announced fourth quarter results for the period ended Dec. 31, 2008. Its total net revenue increased $10.5 million, or 12%, to $94.8 million due primarily to increased political and internet advertising revenue, partially offset by decreased local and national advertising revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The decrease in local and national revenue was largely due to the general weakness in the economy.
- Political advertising revenue increased $24.7 million, or 942%, to $27.4 million.
- Internet advertising revenue increased $600,000, or 21%, to $3.2 million.
- Local advertising revenue decreased $9.2 million, or 17%, to $45 million.
- National advertising revenue decreased $5.1 million, or 24%, to $16.1 million.
During the fourth quarter of 2008, Gray completed agreements in principle or completed long-form retransmission agreements with substantially all cable operators for all systems within its markets. These cable retransmission agreements, when combined with our existing satellite retransmission agreements, are anticipated to generate aggregate revenues in 2009 of between $15 million and $16 million compared to the $3 million earned during the 2008.
Broadcast expenses (before depreciation, amortization, impairment and gain on disposal of assets) decreased $1 million, or 2%, to $51.2 million. Gray said this decrease primarily reflects the impact of decreased payroll related costs partially offset by increased bad debt expense, consulting services and syndicated programming costs.