Hearst-Argyle Television's quarterly revenues dropped 5.2 percent to $167.3 million as its television station groups were hard hit by comparisons with a stronger-than-expected political season last
year. Third-quarter political revenues totaled $5.5 million compared to $21.3 million a year ago. Hearst-Argyle said that excluding political advertising, third-quarter and nine-month revenues would
be flat. Revenues year-to-date were $496.2 million, compared to $513.7 million a year ago. While Hearst-Argyle noted that fourth-quarter political spending had already started at stations in New
Hampshire and Iowa, and said that it expected conditions would be better in 2004 with political and Olympic revenues. Advertising growth in the third quarter came from automotive, financial services,
packaged goods and furniture/housewares. Categories that declined included movies, beverages and fast foods. Retail was flat.