This story was written by David Kaplan.
Local broadcaster Hearst-Argyle's (NYSE: HTV) Q2 digital revenues rose 13 percent $5.7 million from last year's $5 million. Naturally, that wasn't enough to balance out the losses elsewhere stemming from the softening economy as total revenue was down 5.6 percent with $182.1 million at the end of the quarter. Also, net income fell 17.6 percent to $14 million from $17 million, while operating income dropped 21.7 percent to $37.8 million from Q207's $48.3 million. Looking back at digital revenues, in Q1, Hearst-Argyle gained 22 percent in that area, while in Q207, digital was up 48 percent year-over-year. The company cited the wider economic slowdown for the poor Q2 showing. Auto advertising, its largest category, was down significantly, along with most every category: retail, consumer packaged goods, telecoms, furniture, movies, restaurant, and health services. Hearst-Argyle did point out a few bright spots on the ad spending side, including home improvement, utilities, pharmaceutical and agriculture.
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By David Kaplan