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Young on KCAL diet but feasts at KRON

Hoops loss hurts, but S.F. acquisition a goldmine

NEW YORK — Young Broadcasting’s second-quarter income plunged to $734,000 from $2.6 million, partly due to fewer Los Angeles Lakers basketball games broadcast on KCAL-TV.

But Young, which owns 12 stations, primarily in the Midwestern and Western U.S., enjoyed a strong performance from KRON-TV, the company’s newly acquired San Francisco station.

Revenues rose slightly to $74.9 from $73.7 million a year ago.

Broadcast cash flow, often considered a better financial measure of media companies because it factors out noncash items, also edged 3% to $34 million.

The latest second quarter saw two fewer regular-season Lakers games and one fewer playoff game compared with 1999. Last year, the company said it pulled in $2.4 million in revenue and $822,000 in broadcast cash flow from those games alone.

KRON pulls in cash

KRON, however, saw broadcast cash flow soar 35%, excluding one-time charges.

Young bought the NBC-affiliated KRON last November from the Chronicle Publishing Co. for $832 million — the most ever paid for a single station — beating out a $700 million rival bid from NBC.

“It is now evident that KRON is going to do better numbers than anything we expected in 2000,” Chairman Vincent Young said during a conference call.

Young also said it expects further strength from KRON in coming quarters, on the basis of both political advertising and the NBC Summer Olympics broadcasts in September.

Gotham-based Young also said it has bought back 571,100 class A common shares to date for $18.6 million under a $30 million repurchase plan authorized in late June. The average purchase price was $32.50.

Young’s Nasdaq-listed shares closed up 50¢ at $33.38.

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