Q3 revenues rose 22% at Fisher Communications to $42.2 million. The lion’s share was in television, but radio revenues were also up 10%.
“Our performance reflects continued growth in core advertising and robust political spending in California, Washington and Oregon. Our stations continue to take higher shares of both ratings and revenue, and as we look ahead beyond elections and into 2011, we are cautiously optimistic that the core advertising rebound that began a year ago will continue,” said CEO Colleen Brown.
TV net revenue grew 27% to $32 million in the quarter, with ad revenues up 38% to $25.6 million. Core advertising gained 17% while political shot up to $4.7 million from only $600K a year earlier. Television broadcast cash flow (BCF) nearly doubled to $7.6 million from $4 million in Q3 of 2009.
In radio, net revenues gained 10% to 6.5 million and BCF was $2.1 million, up from $1.2 million a year earlier.
By reducing debt at the same time it has been increasing cash flow, Fisher has de-levered considerably. The company noted that its debt-to-operating-cash-flow ratio at the end of Q3 was 5.4 times, compared to 14.7 times at the end of 2009.
Fisher doesn’t provide pacing information or forward guidance. However, Brown told analysts on her quarterly conference call that the extremely heavy political advertising in Washington, California and Oregon had displaced a lot of other advertising up until Tuesday’s election. “We do know there’s pent-up demand,” she said of the post-election period of Q4.