Revenues down 2.4% for Allbritton


Fiscal Q3 (April-June) revenues declined 2.4% to 58 million bucks for Allbritton Communications. As you would expect, most of that was due to a sharp drop-off in political, but local and national spot sales were off slightly from a year ago. Privately owned Allbritton, which has public bonds, reported in an SEC filing that local and national ad sales were down 1.7% to 53.9 million, while political was only 60K, compared to 2.1 million a year earlier. The company said ad sales were down in its largest market, Washington, DC, while a majority of its other stations had increased sales. Network comp was also higher because ABC no longer has NFL broadcasts and "other revenues" rose by a million to 3.8 million.

Allbritton says those other revenues come principally from cable and direct broadcast satellite subscriber fees, the sales of University of Arkansas sports programming to advertisers and radio stations as well as receipts from tower rental and production of commercials. Operating income for fiscal Q3 declined 22.7% to 19.4 million.

Increased expenses for the three months were attributed to hiring additional people for the launch of Allbritton's DC insider newspaper, The Politico, and higher programming costs from renewing some successful programs and replacing some other shows with new ones at higher prices.