Saga Q4 Revenue Falls As Loss Of Political Ads, Weather Take Toll
March 12, 2014 at 4:08 AM (PT)
SAGA COMMUNICATIONS fourth-quarter net operating revenue fell 5% to $33.8 million, with political revenue falling from $4 million to $400,000 year-to-year; on the company's conference call, CFO SAM BUSH said that excluding political revenue, gross revenues increased 3.8%, with gross national up 9.1% and local up 3.5%. Net income was $3.2 million ($0.56 per fully diluted share) and free cash flow was $5.6 million. BUSH said that JANUARY and FEBRUARY revenue were up between 1 and 2% and MARCH and APRIL were pacing up "around 1%."
Chairman/CEO/Pres. ED CHRISTIAN said that he was "hoping for a little better ... we can always do a little more, we can always do a little better, but with that ... we’re just pleased with the results. But we as I said, we always look for just a little bit more."
He cited the bad weather over the winter for the shortfall. CHRISTIAN also cited a study showing that subscription music streaming services are "intrinsically unprofitable" and called his own company's streaming "an ancillary product to us and not mainstream ... an enhancement" to the over-the-air stations. And he noted that while shrinking the product and maintaining the price works at retail, it does not work in broadcasting because stations have to "keep the quality there" to maintain listenership.