Excluding political, local revenue rose 13.3%, while national dropped 7.4%. Automotive, grocery and medical were the leading ad categories.
Sinclair Broadcast Group today reported that excluding political revenues, local net broadcast revenues, which include local time sales, retransmission revenues, and other broadcast revenues, were up 13.3% and national net broadcast revenues, which include national time sales and other national broadcast revenues, were down 7.4% in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011. [Editor’s note: The original posting of this story wrongly reported that Sinclair’s total core in the fourth quarter was up 5.9%. Sinclair did not break up a number for total core.]
Political revenues were $4.1 million in the fourth quarter 2011 versus $26.8 million in fourth quarter 2010.
Including political, local net broadcast revenues were up 6.6% in fourth quarter 2011 while national net broadcast revenues were down 31% versus the fourth quarter 2010 as a result of 2010’s political election year.
Advertising categories that reported the largest spending increases in the fourth quarter, as compared to the same period last year, were automotive, grocery and medical, while services, media spending, telecommunications, direct response and home products were down the most.
Automotive, Sinclair’s largest category, was up 11.9% in the quarter and up 9.7% for the year.
Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $180.8 million for the quarter, a decrease of 4.9% versus the prior year period result of $190.1 million. The company had operating income of $63.5 million in the three-month period, as compared to operating income of $81.5 million in the prior year period. Net income was $22.7 million in the three-month period versus net income of $33.1 million in the prior year period.
“We ended 2011 on a strong note with core broadcast revenues growing, and our largest advertising category, automotive, up almost 12% in the fourth quarter as compared to the same period in 2010,” commented David Smith, President-CEO of Sinclair. “As we look ahead to 2012, our outlook is for continued ad spending growth by the automotive industry, as well as an increase in political advertising in this presidential election year. In addition, we expect the market for television station transactions to remain active and intend on evaluating potential transactions as they arise.”
Read the company’s report here.