LIN TV Corporation ( TVL)

Q3 2010 Results Conference Call

October 28, 2010 9:00 AM ET


Vince Sadusky – President and CEO

Scott Blumenthal – EVP, Television

Rich Schmaeling – SVP and CFO


Marci Ryvicker – Wells Fargo Securities

Lance Vitanza – CRT Capital

Ed Atorino – The Benchmark Company

Barry Lucas – Gabelli & Company

Harry DeMott – Knighthead Capital Management

Aaron Watts – Deutsche Bank

Avi Steiner – JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Bishop Cheen – Wells Fargo Securities



Good morning, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Lin TV Corporation earnings call for the third quarter ended September 30 th, 2010. Today’s call is being recorded.

Before we introduce the speakers, I would like to read a brief legal statement from the company.

This conference call may include statements that constitute forward-looking statements particularly in the area described as business outlook, but also including any other statements of future business prospects or financial results including but not limited to the use of the words like believe, expect, estimate, project or other similar expression.

Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements. Factors that could contribute to such differences include the risks detailed in the company’s annual report on form 10-K and other filings made with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which are available on the company’s website, in the investor relations section or at, which discussions are incorporated in this release by reference.

Lin TV Corporation undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless otherwise required to by ethical law.

At this time, I will turn the call over to Lin TV Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Vince Sadusky.

Vince Sadusky

Thank you, operator. Good morning and welcome to our third quarter 2010 conference call. I will begin with a brief review of results and achievements. Scott Blumenthal, our Executive Vice President of television will update you on station operations and Rich Schmaeling; our Chief Financial Officer will provide financial results and guidance.

Building on our strong performance in the first half of the year, we were pleased with third quarter results, particularly the continued growth of our digital business.

Net revenues were within guidance and increased 27% in the third quarter to $103.6 million compared to $81.4 million for the same quarter in 2009. Our growth in revenue is evidence that our business model continues to deliver. All major revenue categories which include core television, digital and political advertising performs well.

Core local and national advertising sales combined, which excludes political advertising sales, increase by 13% to $85.1 million compared to $75.6 million for the third quarter of 2009.

Eight of the 10 largest advertising categories grew compared to the third quarter of 2009 and the most significant category, automotive was up 41% from the third quarter of 2009. Political revenues were $12.5 million compared to $3 million in the third quarter last year. Political dollars came in a little slower in some of our markets that originally anticipated, but have accelerated in October.

Given the strength of our local television stations, July was another great rating book. We are either number one or number two in all big three news markets based on key demos in late news. In addition, 80% of our news markets are number one or two in key demos in early news.

Our message is consistent each quarter; local programming is not important part of our strategy. In the third quarter, we increase local programming by 500 hours compared to the same quarter in 2009 and launched two new local lifestyle shows, Mass Appeal in Springfield, Massachusetts and Studio 10 in Mobile, Alabama.

One of our most positive local lifestyle programs called Living with Amy that airs in WLUK TV in Green Bay, Wisconsin, was just named the most watched television program in its market in the morning day part, outperforming tabs syndicated in network programming such as Regis & Kelly, Martha Stewart Living and the Today’s Show with key 18 to 49 and 25 to 54 adult in women demographics.

The growth of our digital business differentiates us into today’s marketplace. In the third, digital revenues increased 54% compared to the same quarter last year. Internet advertising and other interactive revenues increased 209% compared to the same quarter last year.

These results include incremental revenue from our acquisition of RMM, which alone grew to more than 70% compared to the same quarter last year. RMM has proven to be a great addition to our existing digital products and has advanced our company’s transformation from a local broadcaster to a multimedia company with a national interactive footprint.

We continue to focus on bringing innovative products to market and building our digital assets. In the third quarter, we began rolling out On Politics, our viewers can find national political content on many websites, but On Politics provides a unique opportunity for consumers to follow and actively engage in local, regional and national politics to varying levels of interaction.

In addition, we are in the process of launching our enhanced iPad apps making it more convenient for users to access our content on the most [inaudible] electronic devices.

The results of our efforts have been terrific. Compared to our local broadcast competitors, we rank number one or number two in all of our local broadcast markets that comScore measures for unique visitors. In 93% of our markets for average time spent on site.

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