LIN flies high on political gains


LIN MediaWith political spending increasing by almost nine times, LIN TV Corporation would have been hard-pressed to produce a negative Q3 2012 result. It didn’t disappoint, with huge gains in net revenue and operating income.

To be specific, net revenue soared 36% to $133.1M, and operating income soared 117% to $44.4M.

Political net revenues rose from $2.3M in Q3 2011 to $20.4M.

Other benchmarks: Local revenue, which includes local advertising, retransmission consent income and website revenue, was up 17% to $73M; and nation was up 11% to $26.1M. Interactive posted a 60% gain to $10.9M.

President/CEO Vincent L. Sadusky remarked, “LIN Media delivered another impressive quarter of financial results reflecting strong growth in all major revenue streams, which contributed to the highest third quarter revenue and EBITDA in our history as a public company. In addition to record political spending on our leading local news stations, local revenues increased 17% and interactive revenues were up 60% from the prior year. Looking forward, our long-term strategy and the increased demand for our innovative multimedia advertising solutions position us well for the remainder of 2012 and beyond.”

Spotlighting other key facts, LIN claimed that the vast majority of its Big Four affiliates, 87% of them to be exact, were either the #1 or #2 most-viewed station in their market; it also noted that automotive, which comprised 28% of its total advertising revenue, was up 23%.

LIN closed on the $334.9M acquisition of New Vision television properties 10/12/12, bringing it stations in eight DMAs.

Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker credited LIN with beating expectations on the strength of better-than-predicted political and national results.