Ad slump chisels loss for Granite B’casting

Net revenue slid 26% to $32.2 million

HOLLYWOOD — Advertising setbacks, including after-effects of the Sept. 11 tragedies, widened Granite Broadcasting’s third-quarter loss to $9.5 million.

That is compared with year-earlier red ink of $2.7 million. Net revenue slid 26% to $32.2 million.

“Results reflect the continued weak advertising environment and the impact of (Sept. 11), as well as tough comparisons against last year’s political and Olympic spending,” chairman and CEO W. Don Cornwell said.

The New York-based company, which operates nine TV stations, including six network affiliates, said it expects revenue to fall 21%-24% over a year ago. Costs of revamping the Bay Area’s KNTV as an NBC affiliate plus other expenses will push cash flow into the negative for the year’s final quarter, officials said.

Cornwell added that things should improve next year. Ad pacings for 2002 are 200% ahead of those marked at the same time last year, the topper said.

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