Tribune Broadcasting Revenues Drop

Jul 13, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Lagging revenues at Tribune Broadcasting TV stations in New York and Chicago and a 4 percent increase overall in cash operating expenses contributed to a 1 percent decline in revenues and an 11 percent drop in operating profit for the television division, Tribune Co. said in its second-quarter earnings report Thursday.

Tribune said declines in the auto, retail and movie advertising categories were partly offset by gains in the telecom, education and financial advertising categories during the quarter.

Accelerated amortization of Tribune’s purchase of first-run syndication rights to “Sex and the City” and “My Wife and Kids” was a key factor in Tribune Broadcasting’s $8 million increase in broadcast rights and cash operating expenses. However, the company said there had been some cost savings in the 26-station division.

The division’s quarter revenues slipped to $320 million this year, down from $324 million in the second quarter of 2005. Television operating cash flow was $116 million, a 10 percent decrease from $129 million in 2005. Television operating profit declined to $105 million from $118 million.

Tribune is in the process of a major stock buyback program and has said it will sell off noncore assets worth at least $500 million in addition to cutting costs by $200 million over the next two years.

In the second quarter, Tribune agreed to sell its Atlanta and Albany TV stations. The sales are expected to result in a loss, the company said.