Compared to what some other broadcasters have reported for the April-June quarter, the 10.4% revenue decline at Allbritton Communications doesn’t look so bad. The broadcast ad decline was somewhat tempered by growth at its web/print Politico operation.
By Allbritton’s fiscal calendar, April-June was Q3. Net revenues were down 10.4% to $51.4 million. Increases in subscriber fees and Internet revenues were not enough to offset the overall weakness in the advertising market driven by the general economic downturn, the company noted.
Local/national combined spot fell 17%. That included a 46% drop in automotive. “These decreases were partially offset by increased local and national advertising revenue at Politico due to an increase in both issue-oriented advertising demand as well as the number of publications produced,” the company noted.
Subscriber fees increased 44.9% to $4.5 million. That was due both to new retransmission agreements with MSOs for the company’s ABC stations and contractual increases in fees for its all news cable channel in the Washington, DC market.
Internet revenues increased 75.1% to $2.8 million. That was credited to “continued specific content and sales initiatives related to our station websites and politico.com.”
Allbritton owns seven ABC affiliates, cable News Channel 8 in the Washington, DC market and Politico. It is privately owned, but has public bonds.