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Lin Takes $297 Million Charge

Providence, R.I.-based Lin Broadcasting reported political and digital intake nudged up revenues 2 percent for the second quarter of 2008, to $103.7 million, but an impairment charge of $297 million led to a loss from continuing operations of $219.9 million. The impairment charge related to the value of the company’s broadcast licenses and goodwill.

“However, we continue to see the fundamentals of the television broadcasting business as very sound and the digital strategy for our market-leading television stations should position us for additional revenue growth and margin expansion once the economy rebounds,” President and CEO Vincent Sadusky said.

Retransmission consent fees hopped 122 percent as Lin reached new retransmission consent agreements for both its analog and high-definition channels with Comcast, DirecTV and Charter Communications. Internet advertising and other interactive revenues increased 65 percent for the second quarter of 2008 compared to the same quarter last year, as total page views hopped 48 percent. Total Internet and retrans revenues doubled over Q2 2007 to $6.7 million. Increases in digital and political revenues were partially offset by lower core advertising sales, which declined 7 percent from last year’s quarter.

Diluted net loss per share for the quarter was $4.26, compared to earnings of 7 cents a year ago.

Local advertising sales, which exclude political advertising sales, decreased 5 percent for the quarter while national advertising dropped 11 percent.

Total debt outstanding June 30 was $782.8 million.

Lin projected third-quarter net revenues will increase in the range of 3.5 to 6.2 percent (or $3.3 million to $5.8 million), compared to reported net revenues of $93.7 million for the third quarter of 2007, although expenses related to the Olympics and the election season will also increase. All of this expected increase is attributable to projected political advertising sales and digital revenue growth.