Gray Revenue Down 10% in Third

Gray Television reported third quarter revenue of $76.5 million, down 10% from the same quarter a year ago. The decrease was due to the lack of political advertising, compared to last year's robust third quarter, and a depressed national advertising climate. On the plus side, local and internet advertising grew, as did retransmission consent revenue.

Gray reported $.6 million in the quarter for consulting on the Young Broadcasting stations, and $1.7 million from Young for the nine months of 2011.

Station groups are posting revenue decreases in the third quarter due to last year's bullish political spending. Gray's political advertising was down 67% in the quarter. Gray called the results "consistent with," or perhaps exceeding, its estimates.

Local advertising was up 1% and national revenue was down 4%.

Internet advertising was $5.2 million, up 57% in the quarter.

Gray reported retrans revenue of $5.2 million, up 11%.

"For the third quarter of 2011, our operating results were consistent with or exceeded our estimates, which were publicly disclosed on Aug. 8, 2011," said Gray in a statement. "Our actual total revenue exceeded our estimates, our actual broadcast expense was below our estimated range and our actual corporate expense was within our estimated range."

Gray forecasts core revenue, not including political, in the fourth quarter to be up approximately 3-4%, with national advertising showing a plus sign.

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.