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04.15.2010 12:00AM
Young 2009 Revenues Drop 16 Percent

NEW YORK: Revenues for the 10 Young Broadcasting TV stations and its rep firm were down for 2009 and for the final quarter of the year. Young posted revenues of $159.7 million for the year, down 16 percent form 2008. Revenues for 4Q09 were down 10 percent to $46.8 million.

The company continues to operate under bankruptcy court protection. It filed for Chapter 11 Feb. 13, 2009. Reorganization plans that would cancel Young’s current outstanding subordinated debt issues and equity securities remain pending before the court.

Gray Television of Atlanta was appointed by the court last summer to operate seven of the Young TV stations, though it’s not yet doing so, Young said.

“Although the company has signed an agreement for Gray Television to manage seven of its stations at a future date, Gray has not been involved in the management of any of the company’s stations to date and, depending on which plan of reorganization is accepted by the court, Gray’s agreement may be terminated according to its terms before any involvement occurs,” Young said in its earnings release.

Young reported operating income of $19.7 million for 2009 compared to an operating loss of $318 million for 2008 when it took a $320.1 million impairment charge. Fourth-quarter operating income was $16.1 million versus an operating loss of $177.3 million on an impairment of $181.1 million.

“This last year has been a very challenging one for both our company and our industry,” said company Chairman Vince Young. “The nationwide economic recession was particularly hard on television advertising with spot revenues declining 25 percent or more in the first half of the year at many broadcasters. The second half of the year saw the flattening out of spot revenue declines and the start of advertising growth in the last few months of the year. This growth has accelerated during the first quarter of 2010 with YBI and other broadcasters seeing strongly positive year on year revenue growth.”

Young’s 2009 versus 2008:
- Local and national revenue decreased 15.6 percent.
- Political revenue decreased by $15.1 million to $5.4 million.
- Retransmission revenue increased 141 percent.
- Net revenue decreased 16.3 percent to $159.7 million.
- Station operating expenses decreased 21.3 percent to $121.9 million.
- Corporate overhead decreased 49.7 percent to $7 million in 2009.

4Q09 versus 4Q08
- Local and national revenue increased 2.1 percent.
- Political revenue decreased by $9.3 million to $2.3 million.
- Retransmission revenue increased 137 percent.
- Net revenue decreased 9.7 percent to $46.8 million.
- Station operating expenses decreased 20.4 percent to $30.5 million.
- Corporate overhead decreased 67.7 percent to $1.3 million.

Young said the recovery that emerged at the end of 2009 is continuing.

“Gross local revenues increased 6.8 percent, national revenue increased 13.3 percent and political revenue increased 14.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the same quarter in 2009,” the company said.

Local, national and political combined are up nearly 9 percent.

“There are also strong indications based on order activity that this rebound will continue into the second quarter,” it said. “Orders booked are subject to cancellations under certain circumstances and are only indicative of probable revenue performance in the future.”
-- Deborah D. McAdams



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