Updated March 24 at 12:29am

Lin Texas $94M charge sees Lin TV profit plummet in 4Q, 2012


PROVIDENCE – Lin TV Corp. saw its profit plummet even as revenue rose dramatically during the fourth quarter and 2012 as a whole, the company reported Thursday. The decrease was mostly due to a $94 million charge from an agreement between Lin Texas, Comcast and General Electric.

The company saw its bottom line fall to a loss of $58.2 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter, versus net income of $43 million, or 77 cents per diluted share, during the fourth quarter of 2011.

For the year, Lin TV Corp. saw profit fall from $48.8 million, or 87 cents per diluted share, during 2011 to a loss of $7.6 million, or 32 cents per diluted share, in 2012.

The company attributed $1.66 per diluted share of the fourth-quarter loss and $1.63 per diluted share of the 2012 loss to “special items.”

On Feb. 12, Lin TV Corp., which has re-branded itself Lin Media, and Lin Texas entered into an agreement with Comcast Corp. affiliate NBCUniversal Media LLC, General Electric Co. and General Electric Capital Corp., in which Lin Texas exited its joint venture with NBC and Lin Media was released from its guarantee of the $815.5 million note payable by the joint venture to General Electric Capital Corp.

Under the agreement, Lin Texas made a $100 million capital contribution to the joint venture, financed by a combination of cash on hand, borrowings under Lin TV’s revolving credit facility and a new $60 million incremental loan under Lin TV’s existing senior secured credit facility.

Lin reflected the financial impact of the Comcast, General Electric deal in its fourth quarter and 2012 results by recognizing a $94 million charge, a $34 million income tax benefit and a $28.4 million income tax expense.

Even as the company’s bottom line dropped, its revenue soared 75.9 percent during the fourth quarter to $196.2 million and rose 38.4 percent over the year to $553.5 million.

“2012 was a year of record-setting results at Lin Media,” President and CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said in a statement. “We closed on the largest acquisition in our company’s history, achieved historic political and digital advertising revenues, and benefited from a rebound in the automotive industry.”

Compared with the last presidential political year (2008) Lin saw net political revenue in the fourth quarter rise 127 percent to $45.5 million in 2012. Excluding net political revenue, net revenue rose 39 percent to $150.7 million, compared with $108.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2011.

For the full year, net political revenue nearly doubled to $76.5 million, while net local, national and interactive revenue excluding political revenue increased 22.9 percent to $464.9 million.

“Looking ahead, we are cautious about the state of the economy and excited about the evolution of our company, continued growth of our digital business and the contributions of our recent acquisitions,” said Sadusky, referring to the 2012 acquisition of television stations in eight markets that were previously owned by New Vision.


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