LIN TV Cut Loss on Impairment

PROVIDENCE, R.I.: LIN TV stations are feeling the effects of the economy and the absence of national elections as much as other stations across the country. LIN’s 27 stations generated $82.5 million during the second quarter, down 20 percent from $103.7 million a year ago. Net loss was $25.5 million, compared to nearly $216 million last year, which included a goodwill impairment of nearly $297 million on broadcast licenses. A goodwill impairment of nearly $39.9 million was taken during the most recent quarter. Net loss was 50 cents a diluted share versus $4.26 last year.

Digital revenues from Internet advertising and retransmission consent increased 52 percent to $10.2 million, compared to $6.7 million last year. Excluding political, core local and national ad revenues sales decreased 22 percent to $78.7 million. Political ads generated $1.4 million versus $8.1 million in the second quarter last year. Operating expenses were down 12 percent.

Operating loss for the company was $25.8 million compared to nearly $270 million last year, both including the non-cash impairments.

Outstanding debt as of June 30, 2009 was $691.4 million, compared to $743.4 million at the end of last year. Cash and equivalents was $19.1 million June 30 versus $20.1 million Dec. 31, 2008.

LIN’s results were in line with analyst expectations, according to Reuters. Shares of LIN (NYSE: TVL) ticked up slightly from yesterday’s open of $2.16 to just under $2.50.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

More TVB coverage of LIN:
April 30, 2009: “LIN TV Getting Into iPhones”
LIN TV will use the NOW technology to develop custom iPhone applications for each of its 27 local TV stations. The LIN iPhone app will have local news, sports and entertainment, video, weather forecasts and traffic reports. NOW is also designing the iPhone applications for LIN TV to include national and local advertising, providing new revenue stream opportunities.

April 14, 2009: “LIN TV, Belo Risk Breaching Loan Terms” LIN TV and Belo are at risk for breaching loan agreements, Bloomberg reported. Neil Begley of Moody’s told the news service that the broadcasters could fall out of covenant if earnings-to-debt ratios fall below the minimum required in their credit agreements. Executives at both TV groups said the expected to stay in compliance; LIN seeking amended terms if necessary, and Belo hoping it won’t be.

April 1, 2009: “LIN Posts $830 Million Loss on $1 Billion Charge”
LIN TV posted 2008 results in March that included one of the heftiest impairment charges by a TV group up to that point. LIN wrote down more than $1 billion for the year and took an additional restructuring charge of nearly $13 million.