Broadcast cash flow at the eight-station group jumps 8% as sales outpace expenses. Acme says to expect 8% revenue growth in 4Q.
Acme Communications reported this morning that third-quarter revenue for its TV station group increased 2% to $8.3 million compared to the same period of 2005, even without a share of the heavy political ad spending.
Broadcast cash flow for the quarter increased 8% to $549,000, it said.
Political ad revenue for the group amounted to $13.5 million, according to Doug Gealy, Acme president/COO, during a conference call this afternoon. He also reported that local sales were up 1% while national were up about 4%. Among the ad categories posting increases were movies (57%) and auto (3%), while declining categories included soft drinks (-37%) and fast food (-15%) with retail coming in flat.
The increase in broadcast cash flow reflects the moderate revenue growth outpacing a 1% increase in operating expenses due to the stations’ promotional cost of switching from WB to CW affiliations.
Based on current sales pacings, Acme said it expects fourth-quarter 2006 station net revenues to increase 8%-10% year over year, while expenses grow 4%-5%, resulting in broadcast cash flow of between $800,000 and $1 million compared $643,000 for the fourth quarter of 2005.
The earnings did not include the results of KUWB Salt Lake City, Utah, which Acme sold to Clear Channel Television last April, or those of WTVK Ft. Myers-Naples, Fla., which Acme agreed to sell to Sun Broadcasting last May. Acme said it expects to close on the sale of WTVK late this year or early next.
Excluding WTVK, Acme operates seven stations, six CW affiliates and one MNT affiliate.