LIN TV 3Q Revenues Up 5 Percent

LIN TV (NYSE: TVL) generated $98.8 million in revenue in the third quarter, a 5 percent increase over last year when the total was $93.7 million. Net income was $10 million for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2008, compared to $1.7 million a year ago for the Providence, R.I. TV group.

The increase was attributed to higher political ad sales totaling $11.4 million, compared to $1.3 million last year, and to higher digital revenues. Digital revenues, which include Internet advertising revenues and retransmission consent fees, increased 88 percent to $8.1 million, compared to $4.3 million in the same period last year.

The increases were partially offset by lower core advertising sales, which declined 8 percent, excluding political. The latter category accounted for about 11 percent of ad sales for the quarter.

Local ad sales, 60 percent of LIN’s total, were down 3 percent. National, 29 percent of the total, was down 15 percent.

LIN clocked in better than Wachovia’s expectations, but rendered a 4Q prediction of a 6 to 9 percent decline compared to Wachovia’s anticipated 8 percent increase in revenues. Ad revenue remains a concern, despite the strength of retrans and political revenues.

TVL was trading at $1.90 a share mid-day on Halloween, shy of Wachovia’s $2 to $4 valuation.
Digital and political provide momentum