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Sinclair Revenue Up 23% in Q1

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues in the first quarter of $192.2 million, up 23.2% from the same quarter a year ago. The company had operating income of $59.9 million in the three-month period, as compared to $51.5 million in the prior year period. Net income was $29.4 million in the first quarter versus net income of $15.3 million in 2011's first quarter.

Sinclair's acquisition of both the Four Points Media and Freedom station groups in recent months was a factor in its results.

"We are extremely pleased with our progress in integrating the newly acquired stations into our company," commented David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair. "This was an enormous task given the number of stations added, and the level of success we have had with the transition speaks volumes to the focus and quality of our staff and management team."

Smith cited WPEC West Palm Beach and KUTV Salt Lake City as standouts from the newly acquired batch.

Political revenue was up for Sinclair, while Super Bowl advertising was way down due to the game being on NBC this past February. Sinclair owns one NBC station and 20 Fox affiliates; the Super Bowl was on the latter last year.

Local net broadcast revenues were up 26.4% in the first quarter while national revenues were up 12.4%

Sinclair foresees greater growth in the second quarter, thanks to a surging automotive advertising category and political spending. It forecasts revenue being up around 33% in the second quarter.

Sinclair owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 74 television stations in 45 markets.