Granite Broadcasting Reports Q3 Profit Loss

Nov 10, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Granite Broadcasting on Wednesday swung to a wider third-quarter loss, as the company continued to suffer weakness at its WB Network-affiliated television stations.

The eight-station group reported a loss of $20 million, compared with year-earlier red ink of $14.9 million. Revenue rose 5 percent to $27 million.

Unlike many other station groups, Granite only marginally benefited from the heavy spending by political campaigns, generating around $1.1 million in the quarter thanks to its Duluth, Minn., station.

The company’s NBC stations got a bigger boost from their broadcasting of the Olympics in August. Granite’s three NBC affiliates together garnered $2 million in Olympics-related advertising.

Granite continued to work toward reducing costs, triggering $2 million in savings in the quarter from voluntary salary reductions by the company’s top three executives as well as the elimination of two executive positions, including the resignation of former president Stuart Beck.

The WB stations are expected to see improvement going forward as the stations continue to work through a number of high-priced programming purchases that haven’t been as fruitful as anticipated. However, Granite’s WB affiliate in Detroit now carries Detroit Piston pro basketball games, which are expected to generate higher revenue and attention for the station.

The company’s WB affiliate in San Francisco is also benefiting from the implementation of local people meters in that market, which Granite officials said has revealed a narrower-than-expected ratings spread between its station and that of the Big Three networks.