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Sinclair Revises 3Q Outlook

Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ:SBGI) revised its third-quarter expectations to flat compared to last year rather than the modest increase it originally predicted. “On Aug. 6, 2008, the company provided public guidance for third quarter net broadcast revenues of $152.5 to $154.4 million, an increase of 2 to 3.4 percent, as compared to third quarter 2007,” a statement from Sinclair said. “That outlook included an estimated $9.7 million in political advertising revenues. Due to the difficult financial and economic environment, the company is now estimating net broadcast revenues for the third quarter 2008 to be approximately flat to third quarter 2007 net broadcast revenues of $149.4 million. The revised outlook includes an estimated $8.0 million of political advertising revenues in the quarter.” The $1.7 million political shortfall is a result of the presidential candidates “shifting their advertising buys from the local spot market to the networks,” Sinclair said. The rest of the revision was attributed to ad cancellations from the auto and fast-food sectors. “The telecommunications sector had lower than expected advertising budgets and, in general, local advertisers were able to purchase commercial spots at the last moment during the Olympics that we were expecting to air on non-NBC stations,” the statement read.