Core local and national ad sales combined were down 22% to $78.7 million. Retrans fees, however, were up 67% and Internet ad money grew by 18%
LIN TV Corp. today reported second quarter 2009 results. Net revenues decreased 20% to $82.5 million, compared to $103.7 million in the second quarter of 2008.
Its core local and national advertising sales combined, which excludes political advertising sales, decreased 22% to $78.7 million, compared to $100.4 million for the same period in 2008, reflecting, the company said, “the continued impact of the economic downturn nationally and across all of the company’s markets.”
Political advertising sales were $1.4 million for the quarter, compared to $8.1 million in the same period last year. The company said the decrease is a result of the presidential, congressional, state and local elections in 2008 that did not recur in 2009.
Net loss per diluted share was $0.50, compared to net loss per diluted share of $4.26 in the second quarter of 2008. These results included a non-cash impairment charge of $39.9 million and $297 million for the second quarter of 2009 and 2008, respectively.
Retransmission consent fees increased 67% in the second quarter of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008.
General operating expenses decreased 12% from $69.7 million in the second quarter of 2008, to $61.4 million in the second quarter of 2009, reflecting the benefit of the 2008 restructuring, as well as other significant cost-saving measures implemented in 2009, which included the consolidation of several additional television stations into the company’s technology hubs, further reductions in workforce across the company and the suspension of the company’s 401(k) match.
Operating loss was $25.8 million, compared to operating loss of $269.9 million in the second quarter of 2008. The operating loss in these periods included non-cash impairment charges of $39.9 million and $297.0 million, respectively, relating to the company’s broadcast licenses and goodwill.
Internet advertising and other interactive revenues increased 18% for the second quarter of 2009, compared to the same period in 2008.
Total user actions on the company’s Web sites increased 20% in the second quarter of 2009 to 175.5 million compared to the same period in 2008.
Commenting on the second quarter of 2009, LIN TV’s President-CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said: “The economic recession continued to significantly impact our advertisers during the second quarter. During these tough times, we are focused on the rigorous execution of several new strategic initiatives, including our multi-platform, newsgathering and cost efficiency plans, which will help make us a leaner and more focused multi-media company.
“Furthermore,” he continued, “the agreement we have reached with our lenders to amend our senior secured credit facility provides the financial covenant relief needed to navigate through the current uncertain economic environment.”
LIN said that based on current sales order pacings, which reflect the challenging economic environment, the market decline for both local and national advertising spending and reduced political advertising this year, “the company expects that third quarter 2009 net revenues will decrease in the range of 18.0% to 24.1% (or $17.8 million to $23.8 million), compared to net revenues of $98.8 million for the third quarter of 2008. Third quarter 2008 revenues included $9.7 million of net political advertising.”