Now down to three stations after closing on sales of three others, ACME Communications is distributing some of the cash proceeds to its shareholders as a special dividend. The company also reported that revenues for its remaining stations were up in Q1.
ACME sold three CW affiliates – WBXX-TV Knoxville, TN; WBDT-TV Dayton, OH; and WCWF-TV Green Bay, WI – for a combined $17.1 million to two buyers during Q2. From those proceeds the company is going to pay 35 cents per share to its shareholders. The special dividend will be paid July 14 to shareholders of record on June 30.
The results of those stations are considered as discontinued operations for Q1, for which ACME has just now reported financial results.
For Q1 net revenues from continuing operations increased 5% to $3.5 million. That included a 2% improvement for the three remaining stations and 16% for “The Daily Buzz” syndicated daily program. Meanwhile, operating costs were down 4%, primarily due to a shared services agreement with LIN Media for KWBQ-TV (CW) and KASY-TV (MyNet) Albuquerque. ACME’s other remaining station is WBUW-TV (CW) Madison, WI.
As a result of the higher revenues and lower costs, ACME saw broadcast cash flow increase 71% to $207,000.
ACME’s net loss for Q1 was $1.7 million, compared to $1.9 million a year earlier.
“Market conditions continue to improve and we are cautiously optimistic that this positive trend will continue at our three remaining continuing stations and The Daily Buzz through the remainder of the year, though we are seeing softness in the second quarter in the automotive category. Our recently completed station sales were pinnacle events for the Company and we are delighted to be in a position to declare this special distribution to our shareholders, which represents our first distribution since we returned $.50 per share to shareholders in 2007 following the sale of our Ft. Myers station,” said CEO Doug Gealy.
“In pursuit of our exit strategy and in light of the scaled operations we have initiated further changes at our corporate office resulting in pro forma annualized savings of nearly $300,000. Following the successful sale of the restricted LIN shares that we received in connection with our WBDT and WCWF stations sale, which are subject to a required six-month holding period, we expect to make another distribution to our shareholders in the latter part of the year or first quarter of 2012. In the meantime, we will remain focused on prudently liquidating our remaining assets,” added Gealy.