With the absence of political advertising and the Olympics dragging down earnings vs. a year ago, both Gray TV and Post-Newsweek reported lower earnings for the first quarter, Broadcasting & Cable reported.
“Gray Television reported first quarter revenue of $69.7 million, 1% less than the $70.5 million it posted in the same quarter a year ago. The decrease was largely due to reduced political revenue, along with the lack of Olympic Games on NBC affiliates this year, and stations not airing the Super Bowl in the first quarter, which they did in 2010,” the publication reported.
Washington Post Co., meanwhile, posted $72.2 million in Q1 revenue at its Post-Newsweek stations, off 2% from the same quarter a year earlier. Operating income was $19.6 million, down 6%.
Core revenue at Gray was actually up for the period, with local advertising up $0.3 million in the quarter. National revenue was off 7%. Web advertising rose 38% to $4.2 million; retransmission consent revenue was up 9% to $5 million.
The declines at Washington Post Co. were due to “the absence of $4.7 million in winter Olympics-related advertising on Post-Newsweek’s NBC affiliates, WDIV Detroit and KPRC Houston, in the first quarter of 2010, said the company, and a $1.8 million decrease in political advertising revenue,” the story reported.
“Cable television division revenue increased slightly in the first quarter to $190.3 million, from $189.4 million for the first quarter of 2010,” the story reported. “That was due to ‘continued growth of the division’s cable modem and telephone revenues, offset by an increase in promotional discounts,’ said Washington Post.”