Local TV makes the vast majority of its money from broadcast advertising, and in 2011, stations made less. The decline was predictable for a non-election year and the forecast for 2012 is substantially brighter, with spending on both candidate and issue ads expected to set a new record.

Other sources of revenue for local stations are growing year after year: retransmission fees and online and mobile advertising. According to one study, television stations enjoyed the highest growth rate in online advertising of any medium. All of these revenue sources are still relatively small, however.

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