LIN numbers jump for 1996

LIN Television Corp. reported record results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, mostly from growth at existing stations.

The Providence, R.I.-based company said fourth-quarter revenues rose 11.8%, to $71.5 million, and broadcast cash flow was up 28%, to $39.7 million. Net income rose 24%, to $16.9 million.

LIN CEO Gary Chapman said the company’s three NBC affils in Dallas and in Austin, Texas, and in Norfolk, Va., were among the strongest performers. Overall in 1996 LIN generated incremental revenues of $6.5 million from political advertising and $4.5 million from the Olympics. The eight-station group also owns three CBS affils and two ABC stations, and has LMAs in four of its markets.

For the full year, LIN reported net income of $46.5 million, a 22% gain, broadcast cash flow of $130.4 million, also up 22%, and revenues of $273.4 million, a 26% jump.

Chapman expects single-digit ad revenue growth in 1997, after a flat first quarter. And the year should bring change on another front, as AT&T Wireless weighs a sale of its 45% stake in the company. NBC is a prime suitor.

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