TVNewser Show TVNewser LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook GalleyCat MediaJobsDaily UnBeige

Posts Tagged ‘David Smith’

Sinclair Offers to Sell Stations Ahead of FCC Decision

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcast Group told the FCC it will restructure its deal to buy Allbritton by selling some stations and stop providing services to others in order to comply with the proposed ban on shared service agreements.

Sinclair said it would sell WHP (CBS) in Harrisburg, PA, WMMP (MyTV) in Charleston, SC, WABM (MyTV) in Birmingham, AL, and would stop providing services to WTAT (FOX) in Charleston, SC, and would give the buyer of WHP the rights to an existing agreement to provide services to Harrisburg CW affiliate WLYH.

“The proposed changes to the transaction will have an immaterial impact on Sinclair as a whole and on the Allbritton transaction in particular,” David Smith, Sinclair’s president and CEO said in a statement. “Although we believe the shared services arrangements that were contemplated would have provided significant public interest benefits, including promoting minority ownership of broadcast stations.”

Mediabistro Event

TVNewser Show Coming to NYC on April 29!

TVNewser ShowThe TVNewser Show Seminar & Media Job Fair will explore the way TV business and technologies are changing through informative panels and discussions with industry experts. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals at the event's exclusive media job fair. Register before midnight on April 28 to save on on-site pricing!

Q4 Earnings: Sinclair Broadcast Revenue Up 33%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues of $382.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 33.2% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Operating income for the quarter was $103.3 million, a 13.3% drop compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. The decline was due to the absence of political revenue in the non-election year, as well as one-time acquisition costs and a loss on the sale of WSYT in Syracuse. Local net broadcast revenues were up 58.1% and national net broadcast revenues were down 14.2% because of the drop in political advertising.

“2013 was a historic year for us, including growing broadcast revenues 32.3% to a record-breaking $1.2 billion, and once again leading the industry on station acquisitions,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “During the year we closed on the purchase of 63 television stations and added over $1.0 billion in assets, which contributed $148.4 million in revenues in 2013.”

Sinclair Hires Former FCC Adviser for New Washington Office

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcasting Group has announced the hiring of Rebecca Hanson as senior vice president, Strategy and Policy.

Hanson, who comes to the station group from the Media Bureau of the FCC where she was senior adviser, Broadcast Spectrum, will be responsible for starting up a new Washington, D.C. office for Sinclair “dedicated to a broad range of policy and business matters.”

Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement, “As Sinclair continues to grow into the nation’s largest television station group, we need a presence in Washington to navigate the challenges and opportunities that we will face in the coming years. Rebecca’s experience at the FCC and in the wireless and media industries makes her uniquely qualified to lead this office.”

While with the FCC, Hanson served on the Incentive Auction Task Force as the go-to person for broadcaster participation and issues affecting non-participating broadcasters. Before joining the commission, she was vice president of Strategic Initiatives at Sprint Nextel. She has also worked at XM Satellite Radio as senior vice president of Business Development and VP and deputy general counsel. She started her career at Brownstein and Zeidman and later Shaw Pittman (now Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman) where she specialized in technology, commercial finance and venture capital.

Free Press Fires Back at Sinclair in Station Group’s Own Backyard

sinclair_304Free Press, the non-profit media watchdog and authors of a recent article targeting Sinclair Broadcasting is taking another shot at the media giant. This time, the organization has published an op-ed piece in The Baltimore Sun.

In the latest piece about Sinclair, which is based in nearby Hunt Valley, MD, two Free Press authors again take aim at the station group’s use of shell companies and its focus on the bottom line.

“These companies are doing everything they can to maximize profits,” said the authors. “Just last month, Sinclair fired nearly 30 employees from Seattle’s KOMO and Portland, Ore.’s KATU. This is par for the course for Sinclair, where the average number of employees per station has declined by nearly 20 percent since 2001.”

Sinclair president and CEO David Smith responded to the last Free Press article with a missive of his own titled, “Sinclair Comments on Inaccurate and Irresponsible Report Released by Free Press. Read more

Q3 Earnings: Sinclair Net Broadcast Revenues Up 35%

sinclair logoSinclair Broadcast Group reported net broadcast revenues of $303 million for the third quarter of 2013, a +34.7% increase compared to the year-ago quarter.

Net income was $36.3 million for the quarter, up from $26.2 million in the third quarter of 2012. In the non-election year, political revenues were $2.7 million, down from $27.8 million in the year-ago period. Local net broadcast revenues were up +53.3%, while national net broadcast revenues were down -7%. In terms of advertising, automotive, services, grocery, media, furniture and home products were up on a same-station basis, while telecommunications and paid programming were down.

“We are pleased with our solid third quarter results and expect to continue to grow our revenue share and provide additional value to our shareholders through our station acquisitions and the synergies and efficiencies of scale that we are creating as we continue to consolidate,” SBG president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “…As we look ahead, we are beginning to assess other possible avenues for growth after the after the industry consolidates, including enhancing our original content offerings and distribution, the pursuit of strategic partnerships and monetizing spectrum holdings, all with the intent of creating additional value for our shareholders.”

WSJ: Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Sidecar Agreements Draw Scrutiny

sinclair logoThe Wall Street Journal takes a long look (subscription required) at Sinclair Broadcast Group’s continued expansion, specifically the use of sidecar agreements — which allow companies to manage stations it doesn’t own — as a way to bypass FCC ownership rules.

Sinclair says such agreements are vital in competing against the Web and other new suitors for viewer attention. “It’s necessary for survival because of the evolutionary nature of the competitive ad-selling marketplace,” says [David] Smith, Sinclair’s chief executive.

Opponents of media consolidation say broadcasters use sidecar agreements as loopholes that let them violate the spirit of FCC ownership rules, which the agency says promote “competition, localism and diversity.” When one owner manages multiple stations in a market, they say, it reduces local-news quality and variety, and drives up pay-TV bills.

The FCC allowed these agreements to help struggling stations reduce costs, not to help companies gain turf, says former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, a consolidation critic. “This is a shell game and an end run around the media-ownership rules.”

[...] The Columbus stations show how sidecar deals work. In the glass-encased lobby, side-by-side TV screens show programming from two of the stations. Fox and ABC news vans share the parking lot.  Read more

Sinclair Adds Eight New Age Stations to Broadcast Group

sinclair_304Sinclair Broadcasting has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to buy the broadcast assets of eight stations owned by New Age Media or to which New Age provides services for an aggregate price of $90 million.

Since the eight stations are in three markets: Wilkes-Barre-Scranton, PA, Tallahassee, FL, and Gainesville, FL, Sinclair said it plans to sell the license and “certain related assets” of two stations (WSWB and WTLH) in Wilkes-Barre-Scranton and one (WNBW) in Gainesville, FL, to Cunningham Broadcasting and the license of WTLF in Tallahassee to Deerfield Media. You can see the full list of the stations after the jump.

“We are excited to be adding the New Age stations to our portfolio, growing our presence in Pennsylvania and Florida, and further diversifying our affiliation mix,” David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair said in a statement. “Through each acquisition we continue to capture operating  efficiencies and scale, as well as increase our cash flow for ongoing opportunities.” Read more

Change in Federal Rules Could Impact Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Expansion

sinclair_304USA Today looks at how Sinclair Broadcast Group’s recent expansion has “fueled debate about enduring questions on concentration of media ownership and fresh attempts by federal regulators to scale back broadcasters’ ambitions.” When Sinclair’s pending acquisitions are completed, the company will be the largest broadcaster in terms of number of stations.

If federal regulators have their way, the industry’s big players, including Sinclair, could be forced to rein in their ambitions. Under current FCC rules, the reach of a broadcaster’s TV stations may not exceed 39% of U.S. households. But broadcasters have been allowed to count UHF stations as having only 50% of the reach of VHF stations. UHF signals didn’t cover as much ground when stations were still broadcasting in analog signals.

The prevalence of digital signals now makes the UHF-VHF distinction largely moot, and the FCC has plans to eliminate the UHF discount. “It’s most likely going away,” says Marci Ryvicker, a media analyst at Wells Fargo.”Sinclair is probably going to be impacted.”

If the discount is eliminated, Sinclair’s total U.S. household reach — if counting all 149 stations — will jump overnight to about 38.2%, bringing it awfully close to that 39% limit. With the discount, Sinclair’s reach would be about 22%. Read more

Q2 Earnings: Sinclair Net Broadcast Revenues Up 28%

Sinclair Broadcast Group reported $279.3 million in net broadcast revenues for the second quarter of 2013, a 28.4% increase on the year-ago quarter. The company had operating income of $84.3 million for the quarter, compared to $71.9 million in the second quarter of 2012.

Local net broadcast revenues, which includes local time sales, retransmission revenues and other broadcast revenues, were up 35.9% in the second quarter. National broadcast revenues were up 7%. Political revenues declined in the non-election year: the company reported $1.5 million this quarter, compared to $11.4 million for the year-ago quarter.

“The first half of 2013 has been very successful for the Company, not only with respect to the Company’s results but on growing our platform through additional acquisitions of broadcast assets, especially our most recently announced planned acquisitions of the Allbritton stations and their local news cable/satellite channel,” Sinclair president and CEO David Smith said in a statement. “…We are excited about the successes we have achieved and the additional value that we have created and anticipate creating for our shareholders.”

Sinclair CEO: ‘There is Significant Value’ in a National Rollout of NewsChannel 8

Sinclair Broadcast Group president and CEO David Smith says there is “significant value” in expanding NewsChannel 8, Allbritton’s regional cable channel in Washington, D.C., to other markets. Smith discussed the possibility this morning in remarks to investors, Broadcasting & Cable‘s Michael Malone reports:

“Because Allbritton has limited reach, the channel has yet to be fully developed outside the D.C. area,” Smith said. “We believe we have a distinct opportunity to accomplish that.”

Smith described NewsChannel 8 as a “launching point” for a national news channel, airing both within the Sinclair group and on MVPD systems for a “unique hybrid model.” Smith threw out a $300 million figure for incremental revenue garnered from the MVPDs for carriage, using CNN’s 57 cents a sub as a model.

“The takeaway is, we believe there is significant value we can unlock when we couple the cable channel with the rest of our news channels and roll it out to more than just D.C.,” said Smith.

In a statement announcing Sinclair’s acquisition of Allbritton’s eight stations, Smith said he was “especially excited” about the addition of NewsChannel8.

NEXT PAGE >>