Updated February 28 at 8:42pm

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Lin TV profits fall as operating expenses climb

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PROVIDENCE – Lin TV Corp. saw its bottom line drop even as revenue rose 36.6 percent during the first quarter of 2013, the company reported Thursday.

The decrease came about thanks to an increase in operating expenses as well as a more than doubling of depreciation and amortization expense recognized in the period.

The company saw its bottom line fall to a loss of $1.02 million, or 2 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter, versus net income of $3.88 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, during the first quarter of 2012.

On Feb. 12, Lin TV Corp., which has re-branded itself Lin Media, and Lin Texas finalized its agreement with Comcast Corp. affiliate NBCUniversal, General Electric Co. and General Electric Capital Corp., in which Lin Texas exited its joint venture with NBC and Lin Media was released from its guarantee of the $815.5 million note payable by the joint venture to General Electric Capital Corp.

Under the agreement, Lin Texas made a $100 million capital contribution to the joint venture, financed by a combination of cash on hand, borrowings under Lin TV’s revolving credit facility and a new $60 million incremental loan under Lin TV’s existing senior secured credit facility. The company had taken a $94 million charge in the 2012 fourth quarter for the deal.

Along with the joint venture sales transaction, Lin entered into an agreement and plan or merger with Lin Media LLC, a newly-formed Delaware company.

According to a company release, the merger is “expected to generate sufficient capital losses to fully offset the capital gains recognized in the JV sales transaction.”

Even as the company’s bottom line fell, its revenue rose 36.6 percent year over year during the first quarter to $141 million from $103.2 million.

“After achieving record results last year, ad revenue is off to a slower start in 2013,” Lin President and CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said in a statement. “However, retransmissions revenues and the continued growth and contribution of our digital business more than offset declines.”

Excluding political sales, advertising revenue rose 30 percent year over year in the first quarter, according to the Lin release.

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