Barrington staying focused on local in trying times


Barrington Broadcast Group reported that Q2 gross revenues were up 1.1% to $34.4, but excluding newly acquired stations that would have been a decline of 1.5%. National was down 10.7% and local 1.4%, while political was up a half million bucks to $0.7 million. “The normal core business doesn’t have a cold anymore, it’s got pneumonia,” CEO Jim Yager quipped in his conference call with analysts.

The company recently eliminated 80 positions, cutting annual head count costs by 2-3 million, but Yager noted that the company has not reduced local newscast time in any of its markets. Local is what Barrington is counting on to get through this tough economic time. While local overall was down 1.4% in Q2, COO Chris Cornelius noted that local direct business, the advertising that Barrington’s sales force has the most ability to control, was up 5.8%. Barrington is privately owned but has public bonds.