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Net Revenue Down at Young Broadcasting

Young Broadcasting’s net revenue in the fourth quarter of 2007 was $44.1 million, down from $50 million in the same quarter of 2006. Local and national revenue grew $1.1 million (2.8%) in the quarter, Young reported, while operating expenses declined 2.9% to $30 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Young excluded KRON San Francisco from the comparisons, labeling the MyNetworkTV station “a discontinued operation in the company’s financial statements pending sale.” It has not announced a buyer for KRON.

Young attributed the dip in revenue in the fourth quarter to a lack of political spending compared with 2006.

For full-year 2007, net revenue was $155.7 million, down $9.7 million from 2006. Local and national revenue was up 0.3% and operating expenses were down 0.4%.

"Young Broadcasting has been built on a strategy of seeking to expand the pool of advertisers while carefully controlling our expenses,” chairman Vincent Young said. “The year just passed demonstrates the wisdom of this approach. Our innovative ‘3rd Leg’ sales programs enabled us to grow our core local and national spot sales during a period when other companies reported declines. At the same time, we have successfully reduced our operating expenses for the fifth consecutive quarter.”

Young has indeed been working hard to reduce expenses -- chairman Young recently outlined a plan, including station layoffs, to trim $15 million out of the broadcaster’s budget. Young owns 10 stations.