Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE:GTN) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Aug 06, 2020 • 10:00 am ET


Gray Television, Inc. (NYSE:GTN) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Hilton H. Howell Jr.

in isolation; learning to cover an ever changing, life-destroying virus; learning to balance the child's care with unrelenting demands on -- of deadlines our viewers count on; learning to fight through their own fears; and during the process and subsequent riots, learning to take a rubber bullet in the chest; learning how to report clearly through the fog of tear gas; learning to stomach the reporting of the ransacking of their beloved cities, towns and communities and trying to make sense of all. As the depth and tragedy of our current situation sank in, the absolute first thing that Gray Television did was assure our associates that their jobs, their salaries, their benefits were absolutely secure and not worry about their personal financial security. Their job was to focus on their responsibilities, their journalism, our communities and our clients and it has paid off.

As the second quarter dawned and with the advent of COVID-19 in early March and then the formal worldwide pandemic, which was declared and the government-mandated lockdowns were announced, business fell off a cliff. It was deep and unknown. But as the quarter matured, each month got better than the last. In the end, our total revenue declined approximately 11% compared to last year's second quarter. Our total combined local and national broadcast revenue, excluding political revenue, which we call our total core revenue, decreased approximately 30% compared to the second quarter of 2019. In every cloud, there is a silver lining. Our business slowed less than we feared, and it recovered faster than we hoped. In fact, the year-over-year in total core revenue improved sequentially throughout the second quarter. April plummeted by 38% but May improved, but was still a decrease of 34%. And June declined by only 17%. But most importantly, in many of our markets, our individual stations met or, in some cases, beat their pre-COVID budgets in June. Of course, our total revenue declined even less on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter than these amounts. In particular, our second quarter results were as follows. Total revenue was $451 million. Net loss attributable to common shareholders was $2 million or just $0.02 per share. Broadcast cash flow remained healthy at $128 million. Adjusted EBITDA was positive at $108 million.

It is important to keep in mind that through this historic health challenge is temporary, though of unknown duration, that this great country will not allow itself to remain mired in various stages of stay at home, safer at home and similar restrictions on businesses, schools, entertainment or sports. And a more immediate concern, our political theater of 2020 has never been more dramatic, with no more rallies, no more live conventions, no more bus tours, no more whistle stop train visits. Television will remain and indeed increase as the dominant form of political reach and impact. We anticipate that our political advertising revenue in 2020 will be between $250 million and $275 million and maybe more. Importantly, Gray remains on track