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LIN TV 1Q Revenue Drops 20 Percent

PROVIDENCE, R.I.: LIN TV today reported a 20 percent decline in first-quarter revenues and a similar expectation for the second quarter of this year. The 27 LIN TV stations generated $74.5 million in 1Q09 compared to $93.1 million a year ago. Net income was $25 million, up from $900,000 in 1Q08 on extinguishment of $28.8 million in debt.

Digital revenues comprising the Internet and retransmission fees, increased 82 percent to $8.9 million. Retrans a lone, while not broken out dollar-wise, was up 114 percent. Core local and national ad sales combined, excluding political, was down 24 percent to $72.3 million from $95.6 million a year ago. Automotive, which accounted for 17 percent of core ad sales in the quarter, was down 46 percent. Retail, also 17 percent of LIN’s core take, was down 15 percent from last year. Political advertising brought in $500,000 compared to $3.2 million last year.

LIN’s total outstanding debt as of March 31 was $686.1 million, compared to $743.4 million at the end of 2008. Cash and equivalents were $15.4 million compared to $20.1 million three months earlier.

LIN said the New York Stock Exchange accepted its plan to regain compliance with the market’s listing criteria. LIN will have to provide quarterly performance reports for 18 months and maintain $75 million market capitalization for 30 consecutive days for at least two quarters at the end of that period.

For 2Q, LIN expects to post a decline in revenues of between 19 and 24 percent, or between $19.6 million and $24.6 million. -- Deborah D. McAdams