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EARNINGS: Hearst-Argyle TV Down in Q1

Hearst-Argyle Television announced total revenue for the first quarter at $169.4 million, down 2.6% from the first quarter of 2006, and earnings per diluted share of $.05, compared to $.14 from last year. Hearst-Argyle generated $148.2 million in net advertising revenue, down 4% from the prior year’s first quarter.

President and CEO David Barrett blamed the absence of Olympic and Super Bowl revenue for the lagging 2007 numbers.  "Our first quarter results reflect the comparison to a prior-year period when we benefited from approximately $17 million of net Olympic revenue on our 10 NBC stations, and approximately $4 million of net Super Bowl revenue on our 12 owned ABC stations, as well as from more buoyant spending in the automotive category," he stated.

"Automotive continues to reflect the sluggishness we have previously indicated, and has mainly tracked with soft regional economic conditions in some East Coast markets. Nevertheless, we are encouraged by positive ad-sales pacings in the telecom, retail, furniture/housewares and pharmaceuticals categories."

Hearst-Argyle Television owns 26 TV stations.