CBS (CBS - Get Report) isn't seeing a slowdown in spending on political advertising despite Republican Donald Trump's unorthodox reliance on social media and news coverage, CEO Leslie Moonves told a gathering of investors on Tuesday.
Political ad spending, Moonves said, was especially strong in California, where CBS owns five local television stations, and in Pennsylvania, where stations in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are benefiting from a tight senate race. Additionally, ballot questions on a range of issues are bolstering spending in California, he said.
Moonves' comment followed a wholly different take from Sinclair Broadcasting (SBGI - Get Report) , the country's largest owner of local television stations, which warned investors earlier in the day that revenue for the September quarter would miss Wall Street analyst targets due specifically to lower-than-expected spending from this year's Republican candidate.
Shares of Sinclair tumbled 9.4% to close on Tuesday at $25.99. Grey Television, another local-TV owner also lost 9%. CBS slipped 2.1% to $49.97.
"We have no revenue warnings here," Moonves said. "There probably is not as much at the top of the ticket because Mr. Trump doesn't appear to be spending as much as people may have thought. But down below, the issue spending is tremendous."
CBS owns 29 local TV stations, including 16 that are affiliates of the network. the bulk of its political ad spending come through its local stations rather its network, based in New York. Station affiliates also include Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Boston and New York.
CBS could be an outlier because it happens to own affiliates in states holding contests that remain highly competitive. Across the media industry, though, companies with television properties are feeling what Well Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker this week called the "Trump Effect."
Advertising spending in the third quarter could be adversely effected by a combination of "post-Olympics malaise as well as the two-fer we're getting from the elections with Trump not spending and traditional advertisers still on the sidelines given relatively high ad rates."
Moonves, though, told a different story.
"Pennsylvania is an important state for the national election, Philly and Pittsburgh are good," Moonves said. "We have no worries. Sinclair is in different markets than we are, but we're in good shape."
Back in February as Trump's run for the Republican nomination was gathering steam, Moonves said that although the real estate developer had his detractors, his rise was good for his television stations.
"It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS," Moonves said at an investor conference hosted by Morgan Stanley in February. "I've never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It's a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going."
As for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee is running more than twice as many advertisements as Trump, according to a study by the Weslayan Media Project, made public on Tuesday. Since Aug. 19 when the Trump campaign aired its first general election television ad, the Clinton campaign and Super PACs supporting the Democrat, have run nearly 62,000 ads compared with about 27,000 by Trump and organizations supporting him.