That’s assuming heavy political spending, the TV station group says. Core revenue will rise just 3%. In 2Q, revenue was up 4%.
Atlanta-based station group Gray Television is expecting a flood of political spending—$10-$12 million—to lift total revenues in the third quarter as much as 19% over the third quarter last year.
But core local and national advertising in the quarter will rise just 3% compared to 2005, Gray said in reporting its second-quarter earnings this afternoon.
All year-over-year percentages in this story are pro forma results—that is, they assume that two stations that Gray purchased during the course of 2005—WSAZ Charleston-Huntington, W.Va., and WNDU South Bend, Ind.—were part of the group from the beginning of 2005. Using the pro forma results allows for easier year-to-year comparisons.
In the second quarter, Gray said that net revenue increased 4% over 2005 to $81.4 million. Local was up 3% or $1.7 million, while national dropped 3% or $641,000.
Political advertising added $4.7 million to Gray’s top line in the quarter.
Operating expenses in the quarter edged up 1% over 2005, while operating income rose 7%.
Gray said it is making heavy use of its digital multicast channels. By the end of September, it expects to have 30 digital channels on the air, including five Fox affiliates, nine CW affiliates and 16 My Network Television affiliates.