Gray Q4 Revenue Up 12%

Gray Television reported $94.8 million in revenue for the fourth quarter, a 12% boost over the previous year's fourth quarter. For the whole of 2008, Gray revenue was up 6%.

Gray cited increased political and internet advertising for the gain. A nearly $25 million political haul offset a 17% drop in local ad revenue and 24% slip in national ad revenue.

The broadcaster forecasted a big year for retransmission consent revenue, calling for a $15-$16 million bounty, compared to the $3 million in retrans Gray grabbed last year.

Gray said it would continue to cut costs at its stations, with a 7% reduction in payroll and related expenses in the first quarter of 2009. The company said it anticipates a 7.5% reduction in broadcast operating expenses for the full year, saving Gray around $15 million. The company announced it has suspended matching 401(k) contributions.

Atlanta-based Gray runs 30 stations.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.