Paxson paints brighter outlook amid red ink

JSAs with Peacock affils to boost numbers, CEO sez

Paxson Communications, which operates the fledgling Pax TV weblet, said Wednesday that fourth-quarter losses matched those of a year ago and annual red ink widened, but execs cited satisfaction with the financial results amid what they called challenging times for broadcasters.

The West Palm Beach, Fla.-based company posted a $44.3 million loss in the final quarter of 2000, which mirrored red ink from the year-earlier period.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 6% to $85.8 million, fueled by recent ratings gains at Pax TV and accompanying boosts in ad sales.

Over 12 months, losses totaled $178.5 million, broadened from year-earlier red ink of $160.4 million.

Annual revenue climbed 27% to $315.9 million.

Paxson expects financial results to improve in future quarters, as it expands on joint sales agreements with affiliates of the NBC broadcast web, Paxson prexy and CEO Jeff Sagansky said.

Paxson announced three new JSAs on Tuesday. With the new agreements, 42 of its 65 owned-and-operated stations have JSAs with NBC affils in their local markets.

NBC holds a 32% stake in Paxson.

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