Fisher Q3 called solid in political off-year


Net revenues were down 5% to $39.7 million in Q3. That was largely due to the lack of political advertising, as the company pointed to growth in core TV ad revenues and a big gain in Internet revenues.

“Our solid third quarter performance demonstrates the continued strength of our market-leading broadcast properties and the growing popularity of our digital platform. Through the successful execution of our strategic plan, we have transformed Fisher into a leader in local media by improving audience and revenue share, embracing new ways to distribute our content, and leveraging our unique multiplatform approach. Our demonstrated ability to anticipate the changing nature of advertisers’ spending while developing innovative platforms and channels to meet their needs, positions us well to deliver long-term value to our communities and our shareholders,” said President and CEO Colleen Brown (pictured).

Revenues for the TV segment fell 5% to $30.5 million. Core local and national advertising, excluding political, rose 9% to $22.8 million and retransmission consent revenues gained 4% to $3.4 million. Internet revenues for the TV segment shot up 52% to $1.4 million. But all that didn’t offset political, which dropped to $0.9 million from  $4.7 million in Q3 of 2010. Trade, barter and other was also down in the quarter, declining 9% to just under $2 million. So, net TV revenues, excluding political, were up 8% to $29.6 million.

Net radio revenues were down 14% to $5.3 million, due in part to the non-renewal of the KING-FM Seattle joint sales agreement (which also produced a big cost savings) and, of course, the lack of political ads. Core local and national advertising, excluding political, fell 10% to $5.1 million and trade/barter/other was off 3% to $263K. Political plunged to $22K from $272K. Net radio revenue, excluding political, was down 10% to $5.3 million.

Fisher Plaza revenues were up 5.1% to $3.9 million.

Television broadcast cash flow (BCF) declined 10.6% to $6.8 million and radio BCF was down 25% to $1.5 million.

EBITDA for the entire company decreased 13% to $6.8 million in Q3.

Fisher reported its results early Monday (11/7) and investors no doubt search the release for an update on the effort to explore financial options for Fisher Plaza, but there was none. In her confernce call with analysts later in the day Brown said the difficult lending environment was making the process take longer than expected.