TV flat and radio down for Q2 at Fisher


Excluding political, television revenues would have been up in Q2 for Fisher Communications, but radio was lower by any measure. Even so, the company reported increased broadcast cash flow (BCF) for both segments and the non-broadcast segment, Fisher Plaza (pictured), posted higher revenue and EBITDA.

For the entire company, revenues were essentially flat at $40.4 million, down $46K from Q2 a year ago. Net income shot up to $3.6 million from only $328K a year ago, but that was due to a $4.1 million one-time gain from the sale of some non-essential real estate. Income from operations increased by 170% to $8.3 million.

The company noted that it spent $1.6 million during the first half of 2010 battling the proxy challenge by FrontFour Capital, half of it in Q2. That shareholder vote resulted in dissidents winning two seats, but left them with a 6-3 minority on the board. Fisher noted that the $800K expenditure in Q2 was more than offset by a change in its employee vacation policy that took effect this year.

“Fisher performed well in the second quarter, with a steady increase in net television revenue and robust EBITDA growth. The Company’s results reflect our broadcast properties’ increasing popularity and growth from our digital platform, combined with our on-going multiplatform success. Through the successful execution of our strategic plan, we have increased station market share, developed innovative digital distribution channels to better serve an increasingly mobile audience, strengthened our brand and deepened our community ties, all of which enables Fisher to capture a larger share of the local advertising spend,” said CEO Colleen Brown in the announcement ahead of her quarterly session with Wall Street analysts.

Television, the largest segment, saw net revenues flat at $30.9 million. But core advertising, excluding political, was up 3% to $24.1 million. Retransmission consent fees gained 1% to $3.3 million. Included in the core ad figure was $1.4 million of Internet revenue, up 66% from a year ago. With costs down in the quarter, television BCF increased 7% to $6.9 million.

Radio net revenue was down 5% to $6.7 million, but BCF increased 66% to $1.7 million. That reflected the wind-down of the company’s former joint sales agreement with Classical KING-FM, which is now non-commercial.

As Fisher Communications moves ahead with marketing its headquarters building for a possible sale, Fisher Plaza performed well in the quarter. Revenues grew 10% to $3.8 million and EBITDA grew 13% to $2.5 million. About 60% of Fisher Plaza is leased to non-Fisher occupants.