Lin TV


posted weaker earnings at its TV station group.

The Providence, R.I.-based media company said earnings fell to $10 million, or 14 cents a share, from $14.6 million, or 29 cents a share a year ago. Revenue rose to $98 million from $96 million a year earlier.

The shortfall was mostly due to a lack of political advertising, but a soft ad market across other sectors including telecom contributed to the weakness at its stations.

Thomson First Call said analysts were looking for earnings of 18 cents a share on $98.7 million in revenue.

"We are pleased that we were able to grow second-quarter revenues in a challenging TV advertising market," said chairman Gary Chapman. "This performance was driven by the recent acquisition of the UPN stations in Indianapolis and Columbus, as well as our Spanish-language, Internet and new business direct efforts. While we expect that this environment will continue through the second half of 2005, we anticipate an upturn in 2006 with the Olympics benefiting our NBC stations and elections benefiting the entire Lin TV portfolio."

Asked about the possibility of future TV stations acquisitions on an earnings call this morning, given the current availability in the market, Chapman declined comment.


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16 stations are up for sale.

Looking forward, Lin expects a low-single-digit revenue decrease for the third quarter from last year's $91 million. Analysts were expecting third-quarter revenue of $92 million.

Early Wednesday, Lin fell 30 cents to $14.97.