Hearst-Argyle Television Revenue Down 2.6% in Q1

Hearst-Argyle Television reported earnings per diluted share of $0.11 for the first quarter compared with $0.05 in the first quarter of 2007. Total revenue for the quarter was $165.1 million, down 2.6% from the same quarter in 2007.

Hearst-Argyle reported a 9% decrease in net ad sales, excluding political, and an $8.1 million increase in net political revenue. The company also reported a 22% increase in digital-media revenue ($4.9 million) and a 22% increase in retransmission-consent fees ($6.3 million).

"Much has been reported about the housing slump, uncertain credit markets, the sluggish economy and the resulting impact on consumer confidence and spending across America,” president and CEO David Barrett said. “A concurrent slowdown in advertising expenditures across much of the media landscape is also evident. Our first-quarter results were clearly affected by these national trends ... While we are not able to call the timing or the magnitude of an economic rebound, we remain confident that we will finish 2008 with top- and bottom-line growth.”

Hearst-Argyle owns 26 stations and manages three more.

Michael Malone

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.