Fisher Revenues Rise 4 Percent in 2007

Fisher Communications saw 2007 revenues rise 4 percent over 2006, the company reported. Television revenue increased 3 percent.

The company said the improvement was due to increases in national advertising revenue for both its English and Spanish-language television stations, partially offset by reductions in political advertising from the 2006 election year.

Adjusted earnings dropped to $26.2 million from $29.9 million in 2006.

“2007 was a strong year for Fisher, building off an improved year in 2006,” Fisher Communications President and CEO Colleen Brown said in a statement. “In the past two years we have driven sales growth, ratings growth, and margin growth. We have diversified our network and geographic footprint, built duopolies in our existing markets, entered the Spanish-language television business, launched an Internet division, and significantly improved our debt to cash flow ratio, while continuing to improve the performance of the company.”

Jan. 1, Fisher closed on the purchase of KBAK-TV (a CBS affiliate) and KBFX-CA (a Fox affiliate), both in Bakersfield, Calif., for $55 million. Fisher paid for the stations largely with sale of some of its stock in Safeco Corp.

Fisher, based in Seattle, owns and manages 13 full-power and eight low-power television stations and eight radio stations in the western United States. It also owns and operates Fisher Pathways, a satellite and fiber transmission provider; Fisher Plaza, a media, telecommunications and data center facility in Seattle; and Pegasus News, an online start-up and local information source based in Dallas.