Clear Channel Q2 Radio Revenues Flat, Net Loss Widens
July 23, 2014 at 6:17 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL's CC MEDIA HOLDINGS, INC. consolidated revenue for second quarter 2014 increased 1% to $1.63 billion, excluding the effects of movements in foreign exchange rates. Radio revenues were flat at $806.3 million. The company said that increases in its traffic and weather businesses and higher political and digital advertising revenues were partially offset by lower revenue in its core national and local terrestrial radio business.
Outdoor revenues in the U.S. fell 5% and international outdoor rose 7%. Consolidated net loss ballooned from $7 million to $187 million, with $131 million of the additional loss attributed to the effect of a one-time gain on sale of its investment in SIRIUSXM RADIO in second quarter 2013.
The company also noted a 3.2% increase in listening hours to iHEARTRADIO.
Chairman/CEO BOB PITTMAN said, “Our growing digital and events businesses continued their strong momentum during the quarter, further demonstrating the unique value that CLEAR CHANNEL delivers to advertisers through our diverse set of media assets. At iHEARTRADIO, we introduced an even more personalized listener experience with the release of iHEARTRADIO 5.0 and grew our registered users by 50% year over year -- surpassing the milestone of 50 million registered users in record time.
The first-ever iHEARTRADIO MUSIC AWARDS, broadcast live on NBC, was a huge success -- attracting more than 65 million votes through TWITTER and FACEBOOK, with #iHeartAwards trending #1 on TWITTER throughout the night and #1 for NIELSEN’s TWITTER TV ratings for the entire week.
"In addition, we showcased the vision and innovation of our entire company to some of the world’s largest brands and agencies at the CANNES LIONS INTERNATIONAL Festival of Creativity last month, while several of our clients -- including BRITISH AIRWAYS -- earned prestigious awards.”
Pres./CFO RICH BRESSLER added, “We continued to reinforce our foundation for growth this quarter and make progress in advancing our strategy to become one of the leading technology-fueled multi-platform media and entertainment companies in AMERICA.
"In another significant step, we have named BRIAN LAKAMP our Pres./Technology and Digital Ventures. We grew overall revenues despite some market challenges, and I am especially pleased with our efforts in International Outdoor and Media+Entertainment. Also, the changes we’ve made in Americas Outdoor position us well for the second half of the year.
"Underscoring our continuing financial flexibility, the quarter’s $850-million offering of senior notes was well received by the markets. In addition to our debt refinancing activities, which have created the right runway for us to keep focusing on growing our Media+Entertainment and Outdoor businesses, we’ve continued to make good on our commitment to control costs through operational efficiencies.”
On the company's conference call, BRESSLER said that the company's focus is on tightening and managing expenses, touting the company's control of expenses in the quarter, and said that APRIL and MAY were especially tough for radio, but that CLEAR CHANNEL outperformed the market. He said that third-quarter pacings are up 1.9% with core stations up 2%, and that political dollars typically booked late in the quarter should boost the company's performance.
Responding to an analyst's question about whether the "hundreds of millions" that PITTMAN has said iHEARTRADIO has generated in revenues came from advertising or live events, BRESSLER admitted that the number touted by PITTMAN is "not a stand-alone figure" and cannot be broken out separately. Asked about the weak radio numbers in certain ad categories, BRESSLER said that the company won't break those numbers out but mentioned that retail was off and some others, like auto, were showing signs of recovery.