SANTAANA,CALIF.: Acme Communications reduced its operating costs to the point of keeping its loss flat while revenues fell 20 percent. Acme’s six TV stations and its syndie talk show, “The Daily Buzz,” generated revenues of $6.5 million in the first quarter compared to $8.2 million last year. The decrease was driven by sharply lower advertising demand resulting in a 22 percent decrease in net revenues at TV stations and a 4 percent decrease for the show.
Total operating costs fell 13 percent to $7.8 million for the first quarter compared to $9 million for the first quarter of 2008. Acme said it cut costs through lower program amortization and reduced promotion and compensation expense. Station cash-based operating expenses decreased 11 percent, principally on lower variable-based expenses.
Broadcast cash flow for the quarter was negative $374,000 compared to $425,000 for the first quarter of 2008. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from continuing operations decreased to negative $855,000 compared to negative EBITDA of $164,000 for the first quarter of 2008 on lower broadcast cash flow, offset somewhat by lower corporate expenses. Net loss was $1.6 million for the first quarter of 2009, essentially unchanged from the first quarter of 2008. -- Deborah D. McAdams
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