Q4 down quarter for Gray


Gray Television had some changes in its station portfolio from one year to the next, so Q4 revenues on an "as reported" basis were down 17% to 84.3 million. Political revenue plunged 90% to 2.6 million, while local grew 6% to 54.2 million, national gained 4% to 21.2 million and Internet ad revenues shot up 36% to 2.7 million. Also, the company booked one million in retransmission consent revenues, double the previous year. CEO Bob Prather said that was mostly from satellite TV and the company will be negotiating for 60% of its cable carriage this year, with revenues to come in 2009 and beyond.
On a pro forma basis, Gray’s Q4 revenues rose 8%, local gained 3% and national was down 2%.

Gray Television now has 40 digital multicast channels operating, including mostly CW and MyNetworkTV affiliates, but also a few Fox. Prather said the company suffered a setback when UPN and WB gave way to the CW because some cable companies moved Gray’s multicast channels to their digital-only tier. Those DTV channels brought in 7.4 million in revenues in 2007 and cost 8.3 million to operate. Prather said he expects them to make a little money for the company in 2008.