Gray Swings to $10 Million Loss

ATLANTA: Gray Television shares dropped 20 percent this morning after the broadcaster reported a third-quarter loss of nearly $10 million. Gray (NYSE: GTN.A, GTN) reported revenues of $66.4 million, down 20 percent from the total take a year ago for the quarter ending Sept. 30.

The diminished revenues were attributed to less local, national and political advertising as well as a decrease in production and other revenues. Declines were partially offset by growth in retrans revenue:

- Local advertising revenue fell $5.1 million, or 11 percent, to $41.1 million.
- National was down $4.8 million, or 27 percent, to $12.8 million.
- Internet revenues remained relatively stable at $2.9 million.
- Political decreased $10 million, or 76 percent, to $3.1 million.
- Retransmission consent revenue increased $3.6 million, or 466 percent, to $4.3 million.
- Production and other revenue fell $100,000, or 6 percent, to $1.7 million.

Gray brought in $300,000 from Young Broadcasting stations. Gray was tapped to run the 10 stations in July as Young went through bankruptcy. Grey will ultimately get $2.2 million a year through 2012 through the Young agreement.

Gray said the recession caused ad revenues to sink. Automotive fell 33 percent compared to last year. The Olympics also added $3.4 million to last year’s tally, further deepening this year’s slide.

Looking ahead was more difficult than in previous periods because of the recession, Gray said. Based on ad traffic, Gray said it expected a 1 percent increase in 4Q local revenues, a 9 percent decrease in national excluding political, which is expected to be down. Young will generate around $600,000 in 4Q and retrans will add $3.7 million.

Cash on hand as of Sept. 30 was $8.2 million. Long-term debt was $793.8 million.

Gray has 36 TV stations in 30 markets. Shares settled today at around $1.50 after opening at $1.82.

More on Gray:
October 15, 2009: “Gray Increases Guidance for 3Q”
Gray Television, expects third-quarter results will be better than previously anticipated.

October 1, 2009: “Gray Regains NYSE Compliance”
Gray was notified last Nov. 4 that the price of its common stock was trading beneath the Exchange’s required minimum

September 3, 2009
: “Gray Conducts Successful Mobile DTV Tests”
Gray said it commenced its first successful mobile DTV signal at WOWT-TV, its NBC affiliate in Omaha, Nebr., on July 24.

August 10, 2009: “Gray’s 2Q Reflects Off-political Year”
Gray posted a net loss of $6.6 million on revenues of $65 million for the three months ending June 30. Wachovia had GTN coming in with revenues of $66 million for the quarter.
July 22, 2009: “Gray Tapped to Run Reorganized Young Stations”
Gray Television will run the 10 TV stations that went to senior lenders in the Young Broadcasting bankruptcy, pending court approval.

May 8, 2009: “Gray Television Revenues Drop 14 Percent”
Revenues at Gray Television’s 36 TV stations were down 14 percent to $61.4 million compared to $71 million in 1Q08.

March 16, 2009: “Gray Posts Loss on $339 Million Impairment”
Gray posted full-year revenues of $327 million, up 6 percent from 2007. Revenues for 4Q08 totaled $94.8 million, up 12 percent from the same period a year previous.

February 9, 2009: “Gray TV Stations Get Click-through Technology
Gray Television will launched interactive TV technology from Backchannelmedia, a Boston-based firm specializing in TV click-throughs.

December 30, 2008: “Gray Expects $11 Million From Retrans in ’09”
Gray Television announced that it has reached agreements “in principle” with 27 cable operators comprising 3.3 million subscribers.

November 26, 2008: “Gray TV Executes Repurchase”
Gray Television has repurchased 883,200 shares of its own common stock at 20 cents per plus commission.

July 16, 2008: “Gray Television Issues $25 Million in Stock”
Gray Television issued $25 million worth of Series D preferred stock in a private placement to make a prepayment on its outstanding term loan.

July 2, 2008: “Gray Television Puts $65 Million Toward Debt
Gray Television made a voluntary $65 million payment on an outstanding loan on June 26.