Station Groups’ Ad Revenue Off Slightly in Q1

Jun 4, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Broadcast revenue for the nation’s largest publicly traded television station groups decreased 0.5% to $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2008, according to a survey by independent financial research firm Fresearch.com.
The firm estimates that local and national advertising among its 16-group sample declined 3% and 6%, respectively.
“Automotive advertising, which comprises 20%-25% of revenue for most local broadcasters, was a key factor as several TV operators reported double-digit percentage declines in that category,” Fresearch.com founder Steve Wonsiewicz said. “Getting those advertisers to loosen their purse strings while auto sales are declining and gas prices are rising is one of the biggest challenges facing television broadcasters this year.”
The slowdown in local and national ad spending was offset by growth in political advertising, which increased six-fold, and online advertising. Retransmission agreements with cable and satellite providers also helped to buoy revenues.
The companies included in the survey sample are Sinclair Broadcast Group, Belo Corp., Hearst-Argyle Television, LIN TV, Gray Television, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Young Broadcasting and the television divisions of Gannett, the Washington Post Co., Meredith Corp., E.W. Scripps, Media General, Entravision Communications, Fisher Communications, Journal Communications and the McGraw-Hill Cos.

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