Loss for Sinclair

March 11, 2009|By Hanah Cho | Hanah Cho,hanah.cho@baltsun.com

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. reported a net loss of $241.5 million last year mostly because of a huge write-down of the value of goodwill and broadcast licenses.

In contrast, the Hunt Valley broadcaster had a profit of $22.7 million in 2007, according to an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company, one of the largest independent television station owners in the country, took a $463.9 million impairment charge to reflect reduced forecasts for future cash flow and growth rates.

To deal with a slow advertising climate, Sinclair recently eliminated 200 jobs, or 7 percent of it work force, and suspended its quarterly dividend. Sinclair, which owns or operates 58 television stations, also plans to cut capital expenditures, freeze salaries and reduce promotional spending and travel.

Sinclair said it expects this year to be "difficult ... for television broadcasting due to the severe economic recession, the lack of political advertising, the continued deterioration of the automotive industry, which historically has been our largest advertising category, and the stagnant growth of advertising spending in general."

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