Chapter 11 protection has given television group Young Broadcasting an opportunity to right its ship. As Chairman Vincent Young put it, “We believe that we have restructured our operating model and our expenses have been ‘right sized’ for today’s television marketplace.” He cited a positive gain in station operating performance – from $35.9M in 2008 to $37.8M in 2009 – as evidence. And the company is looking at almost 9% in increases for Q1 2010.
Young said he believed his company’s performance was unique among broadcasters, and added ““This last year has been a very challenging one for both our Company and our industry. The nationwide economic recession was particularly hard on television advertising with spot revenues declining 25% or more in the first half of the year at many broadcasters. The second half of the year saw the flattening out of spot revenue declines and the start of advertising growth in the last few months of the year. This growth has accelerated during the first quarter of 2010 with YBI and other broadcasters seeing strongly positive year on year revenue growth.
He concluded, “Bankruptcy has been very difficult on the Company and all the individuals that contribute to our success. Many have made significant sacrifices during these proceedings and I appreciate their contributions. Once YBI emerges from Chapter 11 it will enjoy a much stronger balance sheet and a reduced expense base which will benefit the Company for years to come. We look forward to prospering into the future.”
The company provided a list of highlights for both the year and for Q4.
Highlights of Year Ended December 31, 2009 compared to Full Year 2008
* Local and national revenue decreased 15.6% in 2009.
* Political revenue decreased by $15.1 million to $5.4 million in 2009.
* Retransmission revenue increased 141% in 2009.
* Net revenue decreased 16.3% to $159.7 million in 2009.
* Station operating expenses decreased 21.3% to $121.9 million in 2009.
* Corporate overhead decreased 49.7% to $7.0 million in 2009.
* SOP increased 5.3% in 2009 to $37.8 million.
Highlights of the Quarter Ended December 31, 2009 compared to 4th Quarter 2008
* Local and national revenue increased 2.1% in 2009
* Political revenue decreased by $9.3 million to $2.3 million in 2009.
* Retransmission revenue increased 137% in 2009
* Net revenue decreased 9.7% to $46.8 million in 2009.
* Station operating expenses decreased 20.4% to $30.5 million in 2009.
* Corporate overhead decreased 67.7% to $1.3 million in 2009.
* SOP increased 20.6% in 2009 to $16.3 million.
Describing its Q1 2010 peformance, the company said, “Gross local revenues increased 6.8%, national revenue increased 13.3% and political revenue increased 14.9% in the 1st quarter of 2010 compared to the same quarter in 2009. Total local, national and political revenue for the 1st quarter of 2010 exceeded 1st quarter 2009 revenue by 8.9%.”