Gray Cuts Loss in Half

ATLANTA:The 36 TV stations operated by Gray Television pulled in $70 million for the first quarter of 2010, up 15 percent over the comparable period last year. Net loss was $4.7 million compared to $8.9 million a year earlier.

Sports boosted Gray during 1Q10. Its 17 CBS affiliates collected $860,000 from the 2010 Super Bowl, and NBC-affiliated stations brought in $2.8 million from the Winter Olympics.

Categorical revenues were as follows:
Local increased 11 percent to $43.5 million.
National was up 8 percent to $14 million.
Internet revenues rose 20 percent to $3.1 million.
Political was up 176 percent to $2.8 million.
Retransmission increased 27 percent to $1 million.
Production and other revenues increased 5 percent to $1.9 million.

Gray collected $600,000 from its consulting agreement to run the bankrupt Young Broadcasting stations, although it has yet to take over operation of those stations.

Gray said second-quarter revenues excluding political are on track to come in 6 percent higher than last year. Political advertising in the second quarter is expected to be $5.5 million. Retrans will rise by $500,000 for a total of around $4.4 million, and the Young contract will yield another $600,000.

Shares of Gray (NYSE: GTN) jumped from Friday’s close of around $3.50 to $3.89 early this morning along with the wider market on news of the European Union’s bail-out of Greece. Shares settled down to around $3.59 in mid-afternoon.
-- Deborah D. McAdams