Radio contributes to modest Q3 gains at Clear Channel


At most media companies, if the CEO was able to boldly state that revenues were $1.59B, all the kings horses and all the kings men would not be able to erase the resulting ear-to-ear grin. But at a media giant like Clear Channel, it only amounted to a gain of 2%.

The results were adjusted to account for foreign exchange rates; taking that into account, the company also reported a 1% gain in OIBDAN to $480M.

Radio outperformed the company as a whole. Reported under Media and Entertainment, it pulled in an extra $7M over Q3 2011 for a 3% gain. CC credited gains in national business, digital business and income from the iHeart music festival as drivers for its radio results.

CEO Bob Pittman stated, “We are continuing to deliver solid results in a difficult economy, while investing in our digital future and growing the value we provide to our marketing partners with bold, new offerings across multiple platforms. Increased revenues from major national advertisers drove improved performance at Media & Entertainment in the quarter. The successful return of the iHeartRadio Music Festival drew record audiences and attracted a diverse array of major brand sponsors. To help achieve a sustainable business model that will spur the growth of digital radio, we forged our second music rights agreement with an independent record label. At our Outdoor business, we have made substantial progress in optimizing our operations in the U.S. to maximize our revenue and profit potential, while taking the necessary steps to adjust to the new economic realities in Europe.”

Added EVP/CFO Tom Casey, “We continue to focus on driving growth across all of our businesses, investing in new growth opportunities and improving our operations, while closely managing our expenses. In addition, with significant support from our lenders, last week we exchanged $2 billion of credit facility loans for notes maturing in 2019 in a private offer that was significantly oversubscribed and attained an important package of amendments to our credit facilities that provides more flexibility to manage our liquidity and debt maturity profile in the future.”

The company cited its blockbuster pending acquisition of WOR-AM in New York as a major recent accomplishment, along with its continuing development of its content deal with Big Machine Label Group.

RBR-TVBR observation: As goes Clear Channel, so goes radio. There are plusses and a few minuses to being a behemoth, but at the end of the day, the company’s radio portfolio is somewhat of a microcosm of US radio in its entirety. The quarter when Clear Channel says it is enjoying double-digit gains will likely be the quarter when a lot of radio companies say the same.Clear Channel