Revenue up 8.6 percent for Sinclair

But company reports first-quarter loss of $1.8 million

Broadcasting

April 28, 2000|By Bill Atkinson | Bill Atkinson,SUN STAFF

Sinclair Broadcasting Group Inc. reported yesterday that net broadcast revenue in the first quarter rose 8.6 percent, but the company lost $1.8 million.

The Cockeysville-based broadcasting company, which owns or programs 61 television stations and six radio stations, said net broadcast revenue was $160.8 million in the quarter ended March 31, compared with $148 million in the corresponding quarter in 1999.

Broadcast cash flow slipped 2.6 percent in the quarter to $65.6 million, compared with $67.4 million in the 1999 quarter.

Sinclair lost 5 cents per diluted share in the quarter, compared with 4 cents in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

Patrick Talamantes, chief financial officer, said Sinclair's Fox stations, which represent 35 percent of the company's net broadcast revenue, had a 2.1 percent revenue decline in the quarter because of softer ratings from Fox prime-time programming.

Nevertheless, he was pleased with the company's performance.

"Our affiliate groups, with the exception of our Fox stations, turned in strong revenue performances during the quarter," he said in a statement that was released after the stock market's close.

Talamantes said that during the quarter the company upgraded its programming schedule and spent money adding and training salespeople, and that it bought back advertising inventory from the Fox network.

Sinclair's stock rose 31.25 cents to close at $7.50 a share.

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