Hearst-Argyle Television Announces Results for the First Quarter; After-Tax Cash Flow Per Share of $0.29

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc.

    NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ --
 Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. (NYSE:   HTV) today announced operating results
 for the first quarter ended March 31.  On a GAAP-reported basis, revenues for
 the quarter decreased 12.7% from last year's first quarter, to $148.3 million.
 Broadcast cash flow decreased 26.2% to $54.5 million.  Adjusted after-tax cash
 flow decreased 26.8%, to $26.4 million, or  $0.29 per share.  Income
 applicable to common stockholders, which includes a net gain under the heading
 of "Other income, net," increased 374%, to $19.9 million, or $0.22 per share.
     Excluding the Other income, net (which included a gain on the sale of the
 Company's three Phoenix, AZ, radio stations, offset by the writedown of
 certain investments), the Company's loss per share would have been $0.07.
     The results are in line with the Company's prior public guidance on its
 GAAP outlook and consensus estimates for after-tax cash flow per share (as
 defined in the accompanying Notes to the Company's financial statements), a
 key financial measurement for broadcasters.
     GAAP-reported revenues for the quarter reflect the Company's time
 brokerage agreement with Emmis Communications relating to the Phoenix radio
 stations.  On March 28, 2001, Hearst-Argyle completed the $160 million sale of
 the radio stations to Emmis, and concurrently completed its $185 million
 acquisition of WMUR-TV, Manchester, NH, from Imes Communications, in a
 like-kind exchange.
     On a comparative basis to first-quarter 2000, political revenues declined
 approximately $7.2 million (net), and revenues generated in the broadcast of
 the 2001 Super Bowl on Hearst-Argyle's two CBS affiliates fell approximately
 $2.5 million (net) below the 2000 Super Bowl revenues generated on the
 Company's (then) 11 ABC affiliates.  Dot-com revenues declined approximately
 $3.8 million (net) from 2000, principally impacting WCVB-TV Boston.  Adjusted
 for the decline in these special revenues, which were largely incremental in
 first-quarter 2000, core advertising categories declined by approximately
 7.2%.  In the most significant variance, the automotive category declined by
 approximately 16%.
     "The generally weak U.S. economy, along with declining consumer confidence
 levels, is having a very negative effect on ad spending, across virtually all
 core categories," said David J. Barrett, Hearst-Argyle Television president
 and CEO.  "Our customers are reducing advertising expenditures in response to
 their own profit pressures, which contributes to a downward spiral in overall
 sales of products and services.  Our first-quarter performance, while
 generally in line with prior guidance and expectations, is nevertheless
 disappointing and reflective of a very weak advertising environment,
 particularly in our key markets such as Boston, Pittsburgh, Sacramento and
 Kansas City.
     "Our stations have maintained a strong ratings leadership position in most
 of our markets," Barrett continued, "led by WCVB-TV Boston, KCRA-TV
 Sacramento, KMBC-TV Kansas City, WGAL-TV Lancaster, and KCCI-TV Des Moines.
 In fact, KCCI-TV's 10:00 p.m. news is the highest rated late news program in
 the country, posting a 24 rating and 45 share in the February ratings period.
     "We are having good success in generating revenue from non-traditional
 sources, which over the long run will help drive meaningful top-line growth
 for our stations.  We continue to focus on rigorous cost management
 initiatives, and are pleased to have effected a significant reduction in
 staffing over the past 15 months as a result of both targeted efforts to
 re-engineer station operations and our successful Early Retirement Program
 completed in December.  Since December 31, 1999, we have carefully reduced
 staffing levels by 7.5%, while maintaining local news and sales leadership
 positions.  We will continue to implement cost savings initiatives that will
 contribute to improved profitability for our stations.
     "2001 will undoubtedly be a challenging year for us," Barrett added, "but
 I'm confident that we will come through this difficult period better
 positioned to recapture solid growth in 2002."
 
     Activities During the Quarter
 
     During the quarter, Hearst-Argyle:
 
     *  Announced that Ken Bauder, longtime general sales manager at its
        WYFF-TV, Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, would be moving to its
        KHBS-TV/KHOG-TV, Fort Smith/Fayetteville, AR, as president and general
        manager, and that Kathleen Keefe, a highly experienced broadcast
        television sales executive, has joined Hearst-Argyle as vice president,
        sales.
 
     *  Completed its seventh digital TV (DTV) station, WGAL-DT in
        Lancaster-Harrisburg, PA, and is within weeks of launching its eighth
        digital TV station, WESH-DT, Orlando.  These stations join the
        Company's DTV stations in Boston, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Baltimore,
        Cincinnati and Honolulu.
 
     *  Funded the completion of the WMUR acquisition while continuing to
        reduce debt, resulting in long-term debt at March 31 of approximately
        $1.44 billion.  The only investment-grade pure-play television station
        owner, Hearst-Argyle's leverage ratio at March 31 was 4.4 times
        operating cash flow, or EBITDA.
 
     *  Invested approximately $9 million on productivity-enhancing capital
        expenditures.
 
     *  Repurchased 200,037 shares of its Series A Common Stock.
 
     The Company also announced that it expects to complete later today
 (April 30) its previously announced $20 million acquisition of WBOY-TV, the
 NBC affiliate serving the Clarksburg-Weston, WV, television market.
     For March, the 53-site Internet Broadcasting Systems (IBS) network, which
 includes Web "channels" for the Hearst-Argyle stations, received approximately
 74.3 million page views and 2.8 million unique visitors, placing it seventh
 among national news and information Web domains as measured by Nielsen
 NetRatings.  IBS now ranks ahead of national news sites such as CBSnews.com,
 Foxnews.com and Time.com.
     This month, the Company's NBC stations enjoyed strong ratings success with
 the premiere episodes of "Weakest Link."  A first-run syndicated edition of
 "Weakest Link" is scheduled to be offered by NBC Enterprises, with which
 Hearst-Argyle has announced plans to merge its own production and syndication
 operation.
 
     Recognition for News Leadership
     "In a major, recently concluded national journalism competition, two of
 the nation's three best local TV newscasts belonged to Hearst-Argyle
 stations," Barrett noted.  "For starters, our largest station, WCVB-TV,
 Boston, posted extremely strong February-sweeps news ratings and, importantly,
 was recognized for journalistic excellence:
 
     *  "WCVB swept the Massachusetts/Rhode Island AP Broadcasters' competition
        with six awards including Best Newscast and News Station of the Year.
        The station received two highly coveted regional Edward R. Murrow
        Awards, from the Radio-Television News Directors Association, including
        Best Newscast in its region.  And it received the Society of
        Professional Journalists' 2000 Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in
        television journalism, for Continuing Reporting of a Breaking Event.
 
     *  WCVB also was honored with four National Headliner Awards, including
        Second-Best Newscast in the nation.  WBAL-TV, which has regained its
        position as Baltimore's No. 1 news station, won Third-Best Newscast in
        that same competition, as well as a regional Murrow Award.
 
     *  WBAL-TV's sister radio station, WBAL-AM, received three National
        Headliner Awards including first-place awards for Feature Reporting and
        Continuing Coverage.
 
     *  WISN-TV, Milwaukee, which has vaulted from third place in news to
        become a contender for the No. 1 spot, earned five Wisconsin AP Awards,
        including the top two -- Best Newscast and Best News Operation.
 
     *  KHBS-TV/KHOG-TV, Ft. Smith/Fayetteville, AR, earned seven Arkansas AP
        Awards including first place for Spot News; WPTZ-TV/WNNE-TV,
        Burlington/Plattsburgh, received six first-place awards, more than any
        other station in the market, in Vermont AP awards competition; and
        KQCA-TV, Sacramento, which only recently launched a newscast, received
        a Best News Broadcast trophy in California/Nevada AP competition.
 
     *  Countless regional Murrow Awards, including many citations for Overall
        Excellence, were earned by Hearst-Argyle stations including WBAL-AM,
        WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, KMBC-TV, Kansas City, and KCCI-TV, Des Moines.
 
     *  WLWT-TV, Cincinnati, along with its companion IBS website,
        ChannelCincinnati.com, played a leadership role locally and nationally
        in providing coverage of the riots earlier this month.
 
     *  WMUR-TV, Manchester, NH, Hearst-Argyle's newest station and part of the
        Boston designated market area (DMA), showed impressive news leadership
        in the February 'sweeps' ratings.  In results covering seven of New
        Hampshire's ten counties, WMUR's 6:30 a.m. weekday newscast achieved an
        11 rating and 52 share, compared to a 2 rating/7 share for the No. 2
        station in the time slot.  WMUR's 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekday
        newscasts even tied WBZ-TV, the Boston CBS station, in the important
        women 25-54 demographic throughout the entire Boston DMA.
 
     "On a group-wide level," Barrett added, "Hearst-Argyle Television received
 the Walter Cronkite Award from the University of Southern California's
 Annenberg School for Communication, in recognition of our Commitment 2000
 project to provide industry-leading coverage of the 2000 political races.
 Hearst-Argyle was the first large TV station group to commit to providing a
 minimum of five-minutes' nightly candidate news coverage at each of its
 stations, and we believe this commitment helped us achieve the news-ratings
 gains we booked at so many of our stations.
     "This kind of news leadership defines Hearst-Argyle," Barrett continued.
 "It gives us an advantage in local ratings and revenues, makes us a more
 valuable partner to our networks, and strengthens our stations' long-term
 positions on those all-important 'clickers.'"
 
     (The following information contains forward-looking statements; please
 note the Safe Harbor statement at the end of this release.)
 
     2nd-Quarter Guidance
     "While we are pleased with selected underlying fundamentals such as media
 consumption, HUT (homes using television) levels, household and demographic
 ratings, user and viewer growth, and the quality of our product, we remain
 cautious about the near term revenue outlook," said Harry T. Hawks,
 Hearst-Argyle executive vice president and CFO.
     "We continue to monitor macro-economic trends, paying particular attention
 to advertiser and consumer confidence, and are acutely focused on the
 consequential effects on advertising budgets.  Based upon our admittedly
 limited visibility, the best information available to us today suggests that
 our revenues in the second quarter could be down 10% to 14% from the
 comparative period a year ago.  Accordingly, we would expect EPS in the range
 of $0.04 to $0.08 and ATCF per share in the range of $0.41 to $0.45 for the
 second quarter.  We remain confident that tax and interest rate relief will
 provide a much needed economic stimulus to the broader economy.  Further, we
 look forward to the return in 2002 of Olympics programming to our NBC
 affiliates and political advertising to our leading news stations.  We are
 also hopeful that on the near term horizon we will begin to see the
 realization of the benefits from our many strategic initiatives."
 
     1st-Quarter Conference Call
     Hearst-Argyle will host a conference call at 9:30 a.m. eastern time today.
 Senior management will discuss the financial results and respond to questions.
 A live audio webcast of the call will be accessible to the public on the
 Company's web site, www.hearstargyle.com .  A recording of the webcast will
 remain there for one week.  The dial-in number for the call is (888) 560-8502;
 replay number is (800) 835-8067, both accessible with the identification
 "Hearst-Argyle."
 
     About Hearst-Argyle
     Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. owns and/or manages 27 television stations
 and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company's
 television stations reach about 17.5% of U.S. TV households, making it one of
 the two largest U.S. television station groups not primarily aligned with a
 single network, as well as one of the seven largest television groups overall
 as measured by audience delivered.  The Company also is a leader in the
 convergence of broadcast television and interactivity and is engaged in
 partnerships with several interactive-media companies.  Hearst-Argyle trades
 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HTV."  Hearst-Argyle's
 corporate Web address is www.hearstargyle.com .
 
     This news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
 risks and uncertainties.  Forward looking statements include information
 preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words "believes," "expects,"
 "anticipates,"  "could," or similar expressions.    For these statements, the
 Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking
 statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
 The following important factors, among them, could affect the future results
 of the Company and could cause those results to differ materially from those
 expressed in each forward-looking statement:  material adverse changes in
 economic conditions in the markets served by the Company; future regulatory
 actions and conditions in the television stations' operating areas; and
 competition from others in the broadcast television markets served by the
 business.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update the information in
 this news release.
 
     Income statements and related Notes follow.  Please Note:  Current-year
 figures are now in the left-hand column, prior-year figures are at right.
 (Previously the Company posted current-year data in the right-hand column.)
 
 
                         Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc.
                  Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
                                  (Unaudited)
 
                                                         Three Months Ended
                                                              March 31,
                                                        2001(l)        2000(2)
                                          (in thousands, except per share data)
 
     Total Revenues                              $   148,342      $   169,930
 
     Station operating expenses                       79,502           81,073
     Amortization of program rights                   14,016           15,019
     Depreciation and amortization                    32,303           31,508
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Station operating income                         22,521           42,330
 
     Corporate general and administrative expenses     3,696            4,035
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Operating income                                 18,825           38,295
 
     Other income, net (3)                            48,778               --
                                                 -----------      -----------
                                                      67,603           38,295
 
     Other expenses
      Interest expense, net                           28,492           28,966
      Equity in loss of affiliate (4)                  1,561              907
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Income before income taxes                       37,550            8,422
 
     Income taxes                                     17,273            3,866
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Net income                                       20,277            4,556
 
     Less preferred stock dividends (5)                  356              356
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Income applicable to common stockholders    $    19,921      $     4,200
                                                 ===========      ===========
     Income per common share - basic             $      0.22      $      0.05
                                                 ===========      ===========
     Number of common shares
      used in the calculation                         91,864           92,768
 
     Income per common share - diluted           $      0.22      $      0.05
                                                 ===========      ===========
     Number of common shares
      used in the calculation                         92,133           92,790
 
     Supplemental Financial Data:
 
     Broadcast cash flow (6)                     $    54,543      $    73,952
     Broadcast cash flow margin                         36.8%            43.5%
     Operating cash flow (6)                     $    50,847      $    69,917
     Operating cash flow margin                         34.3%            41.1%
     Adjusted after-tax cash flow (6)            $    26,408      $    36,064
     Adjusted after-tax cash flow per share (7)  $      0.29      $      0.39
     Program payments                            $    14,297      $    14,905
     Long-term debt, net of cash                 $ 1,437,600      $ 1,536,615
     Common shares outstanding at 3/31/01, net        91,750
 
     Notes to Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
 
     (1)  Includes results from: (i) the Company's 23 owned television stations
          (which excludes WMUR) and fees from the three television and two
          radio stations managed by the Company for the entire period
          presented; (ii) the Time Brokerage Agreement ("TBA") for WMUR from
          January 1 to March 27, 2001 and the results of WMUR, after its
          acquisition by the Company, from March 28, 2001 to March 31, 2001;
          and, (iii) TBA for KTAR-AM, KMVP-AM and KKLT-FM ("Phoenix Radio")
          from January 1 to March 27, 2001.
 
     (2)  Includes results from: (i) the Company's 22 owned television stations
           (which excludes KQCA and WMUR), five previously owned radio stations
          and fees from the three television and two radio stations managed by
          the Company for the entire period presented; and, (ii) the TBA for
          KQCA from January 1 to January 31, 2000 and the results of KQCA,
          after its acquisition by the Company, from February 1 to
          March 31, 2000.
 
     (3)  Includes the $72.6 million gain from the sale of Phoenix Radio,
          partially offset by a $23.8 million write-down of the carrying value
          of Investments, included on the Company's balance sheet.
 
     (4)  Represents the Company's equity interest in the operating results of
          Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc. (pursuant to the equity method of
          accounting).
 
     (5)  Reflects preferred stock dividends relating to the preferred stock
          issued in conjunction with the acquisition of KHBS/KHOG.
 
     (6)  Broadcast cash flow is defined as station operating income, plus
          depreciation and amortization, plus amortization of program rights,
          minus program payments.  Operating cash flow, also known as EBITDA,
          is defined as broadcast cash flow less corporate general and
          administrative expenses.  Adjusted after-tax cash flow is defined as
          net income (i) plus depreciation and amortization, and (ii) less
          other income, net (net of the related tax expense of $22,606).
          Adjusted after-tax cash flow does not give effect to deferred income
          taxes.  The Company has included these measures because management
          believes that such data are commonly used as a measure of performance
          among companies in the broadcast industry.  These measures are also
          frequently used by investors, analysts, valuation firms and lenders.
          Broadcast cash flow, operating cash flow and adjusted after-tax cash
          flow should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to
          operating income (as determined in accordance with generally accepted
          accounting principles) as a measure of liquidity.  These measures are
          believed to be, but may not be, comparable to similarly titled
          measures used by other companies.
 
     (7)  Adjusted after-tax cash flow per share represents adjusted after-tax
          cash flow divided by the number of shares used in the calculation of
          income per common share - diluted.
 
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SOURCE Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc.
    NEW YORK, April 30 /PRNewswire/ --
 Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. (NYSE:   HTV) today announced operating results
 for the first quarter ended March 31.  On a GAAP-reported basis, revenues for
 the quarter decreased 12.7% from last year's first quarter, to $148.3 million.
 Broadcast cash flow decreased 26.2% to $54.5 million.  Adjusted after-tax cash
 flow decreased 26.8%, to $26.4 million, or  $0.29 per share.  Income
 applicable to common stockholders, which includes a net gain under the heading
 of "Other income, net," increased 374%, to $19.9 million, or $0.22 per share.
     Excluding the Other income, net (which included a gain on the sale of the
 Company's three Phoenix, AZ, radio stations, offset by the writedown of
 certain investments), the Company's loss per share would have been $0.07.
     The results are in line with the Company's prior public guidance on its
 GAAP outlook and consensus estimates for after-tax cash flow per share (as
 defined in the accompanying Notes to the Company's financial statements), a
 key financial measurement for broadcasters.
     GAAP-reported revenues for the quarter reflect the Company's time
 brokerage agreement with Emmis Communications relating to the Phoenix radio
 stations.  On March 28, 2001, Hearst-Argyle completed the $160 million sale of
 the radio stations to Emmis, and concurrently completed its $185 million
 acquisition of WMUR-TV, Manchester, NH, from Imes Communications, in a
 like-kind exchange.
     On a comparative basis to first-quarter 2000, political revenues declined
 approximately $7.2 million (net), and revenues generated in the broadcast of
 the 2001 Super Bowl on Hearst-Argyle's two CBS affiliates fell approximately
 $2.5 million (net) below the 2000 Super Bowl revenues generated on the
 Company's (then) 11 ABC affiliates.  Dot-com revenues declined approximately
 $3.8 million (net) from 2000, principally impacting WCVB-TV Boston.  Adjusted
 for the decline in these special revenues, which were largely incremental in
 first-quarter 2000, core advertising categories declined by approximately
 7.2%.  In the most significant variance, the automotive category declined by
 approximately 16%.
     "The generally weak U.S. economy, along with declining consumer confidence
 levels, is having a very negative effect on ad spending, across virtually all
 core categories," said David J. Barrett, Hearst-Argyle Television president
 and CEO.  "Our customers are reducing advertising expenditures in response to
 their own profit pressures, which contributes to a downward spiral in overall
 sales of products and services.  Our first-quarter performance, while
 generally in line with prior guidance and expectations, is nevertheless
 disappointing and reflective of a very weak advertising environment,
 particularly in our key markets such as Boston, Pittsburgh, Sacramento and
 Kansas City.
     "Our stations have maintained a strong ratings leadership position in most
 of our markets," Barrett continued, "led by WCVB-TV Boston, KCRA-TV
 Sacramento, KMBC-TV Kansas City, WGAL-TV Lancaster, and KCCI-TV Des Moines.
 In fact, KCCI-TV's 10:00 p.m. news is the highest rated late news program in
 the country, posting a 24 rating and 45 share in the February ratings period.
     "We are having good success in generating revenue from non-traditional
 sources, which over the long run will help drive meaningful top-line growth
 for our stations.  We continue to focus on rigorous cost management
 initiatives, and are pleased to have effected a significant reduction in
 staffing over the past 15 months as a result of both targeted efforts to
 re-engineer station operations and our successful Early Retirement Program
 completed in December.  Since December 31, 1999, we have carefully reduced
 staffing levels by 7.5%, while maintaining local news and sales leadership
 positions.  We will continue to implement cost savings initiatives that will
 contribute to improved profitability for our stations.
     "2001 will undoubtedly be a challenging year for us," Barrett added, "but
 I'm confident that we will come through this difficult period better
 positioned to recapture solid growth in 2002."
 
     Activities During the Quarter
 
     During the quarter, Hearst-Argyle:
 
     *  Announced that Ken Bauder, longtime general sales manager at its
        WYFF-TV, Greenville/Spartanburg, SC, would be moving to its
        KHBS-TV/KHOG-TV, Fort Smith/Fayetteville, AR, as president and general
        manager, and that Kathleen Keefe, a highly experienced broadcast
        television sales executive, has joined Hearst-Argyle as vice president,
        sales.
 
     *  Completed its seventh digital TV (DTV) station, WGAL-DT in
        Lancaster-Harrisburg, PA, and is within weeks of launching its eighth
        digital TV station, WESH-DT, Orlando.  These stations join the
        Company's DTV stations in Boston, Sacramento, Pittsburgh, Baltimore,
        Cincinnati and Honolulu.
 
     *  Funded the completion of the WMUR acquisition while continuing to
        reduce debt, resulting in long-term debt at March 31 of approximately
        $1.44 billion.  The only investment-grade pure-play television station
        owner, Hearst-Argyle's leverage ratio at March 31 was 4.4 times
        operating cash flow, or EBITDA.
 
     *  Invested approximately $9 million on productivity-enhancing capital
        expenditures.
 
     *  Repurchased 200,037 shares of its Series A Common Stock.
 
     The Company also announced that it expects to complete later today
 (April 30) its previously announced $20 million acquisition of WBOY-TV, the
 NBC affiliate serving the Clarksburg-Weston, WV, television market.
     For March, the 53-site Internet Broadcasting Systems (IBS) network, which
 includes Web "channels" for the Hearst-Argyle stations, received approximately
 74.3 million page views and 2.8 million unique visitors, placing it seventh
 among national news and information Web domains as measured by Nielsen
 NetRatings.  IBS now ranks ahead of national news sites such as CBSnews.com,
 Foxnews.com and Time.com.
     This month, the Company's NBC stations enjoyed strong ratings success with
 the premiere episodes of "Weakest Link."  A first-run syndicated edition of
 "Weakest Link" is scheduled to be offered by NBC Enterprises, with which
 Hearst-Argyle has announced plans to merge its own production and syndication
 operation.
 
     Recognition for News Leadership
     "In a major, recently concluded national journalism competition, two of
 the nation's three best local TV newscasts belonged to Hearst-Argyle
 stations," Barrett noted.  "For starters, our largest station, WCVB-TV,
 Boston, posted extremely strong February-sweeps news ratings and, importantly,
 was recognized for journalistic excellence:
 
     *  "WCVB swept the Massachusetts/Rhode Island AP Broadcasters' competition
        with six awards including Best Newscast and News Station of the Year.
        The station received two highly coveted regional Edward R. Murrow
        Awards, from the Radio-Television News Directors Association, including
        Best Newscast in its region.  And it received the Society of
        Professional Journalists' 2000 Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in
        television journalism, for Continuing Reporting of a Breaking Event.
 
     *  WCVB also was honored with four National Headliner Awards, including
        Second-Best Newscast in the nation.  WBAL-TV, which has regained its
        position as Baltimore's No. 1 news station, won Third-Best Newscast in
        that same competition, as well as a regional Murrow Award.
 
     *  WBAL-TV's sister radio station, WBAL-AM, received three National
        Headliner Awards including first-place awards for Feature Reporting and
        Continuing Coverage.
 
     *  WISN-TV, Milwaukee, which has vaulted from third place in news to
        become a contender for the No. 1 spot, earned five Wisconsin AP Awards,
        including the top two -- Best Newscast and Best News Operation.
 
     *  KHBS-TV/KHOG-TV, Ft. Smith/Fayetteville, AR, earned seven Arkansas AP
        Awards including first place for Spot News; WPTZ-TV/WNNE-TV,
        Burlington/Plattsburgh, received six first-place awards, more than any
        other station in the market, in Vermont AP awards competition; and
        KQCA-TV, Sacramento, which only recently launched a newscast, received
        a Best News Broadcast trophy in California/Nevada AP competition.
 
     *  Countless regional Murrow Awards, including many citations for Overall
        Excellence, were earned by Hearst-Argyle stations including WBAL-AM,
        WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, KMBC-TV, Kansas City, and KCCI-TV, Des Moines.
 
     *  WLWT-TV, Cincinnati, along with its companion IBS website,
        ChannelCincinnati.com, played a leadership role locally and nationally
        in providing coverage of the riots earlier this month.
 
     *  WMUR-TV, Manchester, NH, Hearst-Argyle's newest station and part of the
        Boston designated market area (DMA), showed impressive news leadership
        in the February 'sweeps' ratings.  In results covering seven of New
        Hampshire's ten counties, WMUR's 6:30 a.m. weekday newscast achieved an
        11 rating and 52 share, compared to a 2 rating/7 share for the No. 2
        station in the time slot.  WMUR's 6:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekday
        newscasts even tied WBZ-TV, the Boston CBS station, in the important
        women 25-54 demographic throughout the entire Boston DMA.
 
     "On a group-wide level," Barrett added, "Hearst-Argyle Television received
 the Walter Cronkite Award from the University of Southern California's
 Annenberg School for Communication, in recognition of our Commitment 2000
 project to provide industry-leading coverage of the 2000 political races.
 Hearst-Argyle was the first large TV station group to commit to providing a
 minimum of five-minutes' nightly candidate news coverage at each of its
 stations, and we believe this commitment helped us achieve the news-ratings
 gains we booked at so many of our stations.
     "This kind of news leadership defines Hearst-Argyle," Barrett continued.
 "It gives us an advantage in local ratings and revenues, makes us a more
 valuable partner to our networks, and strengthens our stations' long-term
 positions on those all-important 'clickers.'"
 
     (The following information contains forward-looking statements; please
 note the Safe Harbor statement at the end of this release.)
 
     2nd-Quarter Guidance
     "While we are pleased with selected underlying fundamentals such as media
 consumption, HUT (homes using television) levels, household and demographic
 ratings, user and viewer growth, and the quality of our product, we remain
 cautious about the near term revenue outlook," said Harry T. Hawks,
 Hearst-Argyle executive vice president and CFO.
     "We continue to monitor macro-economic trends, paying particular attention
 to advertiser and consumer confidence, and are acutely focused on the
 consequential effects on advertising budgets.  Based upon our admittedly
 limited visibility, the best information available to us today suggests that
 our revenues in the second quarter could be down 10% to 14% from the
 comparative period a year ago.  Accordingly, we would expect EPS in the range
 of $0.04 to $0.08 and ATCF per share in the range of $0.41 to $0.45 for the
 second quarter.  We remain confident that tax and interest rate relief will
 provide a much needed economic stimulus to the broader economy.  Further, we
 look forward to the return in 2002 of Olympics programming to our NBC
 affiliates and political advertising to our leading news stations.  We are
 also hopeful that on the near term horizon we will begin to see the
 realization of the benefits from our many strategic initiatives."
 
     1st-Quarter Conference Call
     Hearst-Argyle will host a conference call at 9:30 a.m. eastern time today.
 Senior management will discuss the financial results and respond to questions.
 A live audio webcast of the call will be accessible to the public on the
 Company's web site, www.hearstargyle.com .  A recording of the webcast will
 remain there for one week.  The dial-in number for the call is (888) 560-8502;
 replay number is (800) 835-8067, both accessible with the identification
 "Hearst-Argyle."
 
     About Hearst-Argyle
     Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc. owns and/or manages 27 television stations
 and two radio stations, in geographically diverse U.S. markets. The Company's
 television stations reach about 17.5% of U.S. TV households, making it one of
 the two largest U.S. television station groups not primarily aligned with a
 single network, as well as one of the seven largest television groups overall
 as measured by audience delivered.  The Company also is a leader in the
 convergence of broadcast television and interactivity and is engaged in
 partnerships with several interactive-media companies.  Hearst-Argyle trades
 on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HTV."  Hearst-Argyle's
 corporate Web address is www.hearstargyle.com .
 
     This news release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to
 risks and uncertainties.  Forward looking statements include information
 preceded by, followed by, or that includes the words "believes," "expects,"
 "anticipates,"  "could," or similar expressions.    For these statements, the
 Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking
 statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
 The following important factors, among them, could affect the future results
 of the Company and could cause those results to differ materially from those
 expressed in each forward-looking statement:  material adverse changes in
 economic conditions in the markets served by the Company; future regulatory
 actions and conditions in the television stations' operating areas; and
 competition from others in the broadcast television markets served by the
 business.  The Company undertakes no obligation to update the information in
 this news release.
 
     Income statements and related Notes follow.  Please Note:  Current-year
 figures are now in the left-hand column, prior-year figures are at right.
 (Previously the Company posted current-year data in the right-hand column.)
 
 
                         Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc.
                  Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
                                  (Unaudited)
 
                                                         Three Months Ended
                                                              March 31,
                                                        2001(l)        2000(2)
                                          (in thousands, except per share data)
 
     Total Revenues                              $   148,342      $   169,930
 
     Station operating expenses                       79,502           81,073
     Amortization of program rights                   14,016           15,019
     Depreciation and amortization                    32,303           31,508
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Station operating income                         22,521           42,330
 
     Corporate general and administrative expenses     3,696            4,035
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Operating income                                 18,825           38,295
 
     Other income, net (3)                            48,778               --
                                                 -----------      -----------
                                                      67,603           38,295
 
     Other expenses
      Interest expense, net                           28,492           28,966
      Equity in loss of affiliate (4)                  1,561              907
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Income before income taxes                       37,550            8,422
 
     Income taxes                                     17,273            3,866
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Net income                                       20,277            4,556
 
     Less preferred stock dividends (5)                  356              356
                                                 -----------      -----------
     Income applicable to common stockholders    $    19,921      $     4,200
                                                 ===========      ===========
     Income per common share - basic             $      0.22      $      0.05
                                                 ===========      ===========
     Number of common shares
      used in the calculation                         91,864           92,768
 
     Income per common share - diluted           $      0.22      $      0.05
                                                 ===========      ===========
     Number of common shares
      used in the calculation                         92,133           92,790
 
     Supplemental Financial Data:
 
     Broadcast cash flow (6)                     $    54,543      $    73,952
     Broadcast cash flow margin                         36.8%            43.5%
     Operating cash flow (6)                     $    50,847      $    69,917
     Operating cash flow margin                         34.3%            41.1%
     Adjusted after-tax cash flow (6)            $    26,408      $    36,064
     Adjusted after-tax cash flow per share (7)  $      0.29      $      0.39
     Program payments                            $    14,297      $    14,905
     Long-term debt, net of cash                 $ 1,437,600      $ 1,536,615
     Common shares outstanding at 3/31/01, net        91,750
 
     Notes to Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
 
     (1)  Includes results from: (i) the Company's 23 owned television stations
          (which excludes WMUR) and fees from the three television and two
          radio stations managed by the Company for the entire period
          presented; (ii) the Time Brokerage Agreement ("TBA") for WMUR from
          January 1 to March 27, 2001 and the results of WMUR, after its
          acquisition by the Company, from March 28, 2001 to March 31, 2001;
          and, (iii) TBA for KTAR-AM, KMVP-AM and KKLT-FM ("Phoenix Radio")
          from January 1 to March 27, 2001.
 
     (2)  Includes results from: (i) the Company's 22 owned television stations
           (which excludes KQCA and WMUR), five previously owned radio stations
          and fees from the three television and two radio stations managed by
          the Company for the entire period presented; and, (ii) the TBA for
          KQCA from January 1 to January 31, 2000 and the results of KQCA,
          after its acquisition by the Company, from February 1 to
          March 31, 2000.
 
     (3)  Includes the $72.6 million gain from the sale of Phoenix Radio,
          partially offset by a $23.8 million write-down of the carrying value
          of Investments, included on the Company's balance sheet.
 
     (4)  Represents the Company's equity interest in the operating results of
          Internet Broadcasting Systems, Inc. (pursuant to the equity method of
          accounting).
 
     (5)  Reflects preferred stock dividends relating to the preferred stock
          issued in conjunction with the acquisition of KHBS/KHOG.
 
     (6)  Broadcast cash flow is defined as station operating income, plus
          depreciation and amortization, plus amortization of program rights,
          minus program payments.  Operating cash flow, also known as EBITDA,
          is defined as broadcast cash flow less corporate general and
          administrative expenses.  Adjusted after-tax cash flow is defined as
          net income (i) plus depreciation and amortization, and (ii) less
          other income, net (net of the related tax expense of $22,606).
          Adjusted after-tax cash flow does not give effect to deferred income
          taxes.  The Company has included these measures because management
          believes that such data are commonly used as a measure of performance
          among companies in the broadcast industry.  These measures are also
          frequently used by investors, analysts, valuation firms and lenders.
          Broadcast cash flow, operating cash flow and adjusted after-tax cash
          flow should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to
          operating income (as determined in accordance with generally accepted
          accounting principles) as a measure of liquidity.  These measures are
          believed to be, but may not be, comparable to similarly titled
          measures used by other companies.
 
     (7)  Adjusted after-tax cash flow per share represents adjusted after-tax
          cash flow divided by the number of shares used in the calculation of
          income per common share - diluted.
 
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 SOURCE  Hearst-Argyle Television, Inc.