Hearst-Argyle's Q2 earnings take dive

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NEW YORK -- Hearst-Argyle Television Inc., operator of 29 television stations, said Thursday that second-quarter earnings dropped as expenses rose and advertising revenue was weak.

Net income after paying preferred dividends fell to $17 million, or 18 cents per share, from $25 million, or 27 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue slipped to $193 million from $194 million last year, as 3% lower net advertising offset a 48% gain in net digital media revenue. The company's NBC-affiliated stations had 10% lower revenue, reflecting the network's decline in ratings, which are used to set ad rates.

Selling, general and administrative costs rose to $102.2 million from $97.7 million last year.
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