Townsquare Media First-Quarter Revenues Rise
May 10, 2016 at 12:17 PM (PT)
TOWNSQUARE MEDIA first-quarter 2016 net revenue increased 16.4% (6.7% on a pro forma basis) to $94.4 million, driven by the acquisition of NORTH AMERICAN MIDWAY ENTERTAINMENT, the carnival event company; local ad revenue rose 4.4% to $67.9 million, while live events net revenue jumped 90.4% to $15.5 million and "other media and entertainment" rose 38.9% to $11 million. The ad revenue rise was largely from political revenue; absent that boost, local ad revenue would have risen 2.7% to $66.5 million. Adjusted EBITDA fell 17.7% to $12 million (pro forma up 3.3%).
Chairman/CEO STEVEN PRICE said, "TOWNSQUARE’s first-quarter performance marked a solid start to 2016, driven by strong results across the Company. We grew pro forma net revenue 6.7% and saw particular strength in many of our local markets."
On the company's conference call, PRICE focused on TUSCALOOSA, where the company recently filed to buy two stations and three translators and divest one; he said that prior to AUGUST 2015, the market was a "problem market" with revenue problems despite a leading position, but the hiring of a new Market President "repair(ed) damaged relationships with key clients and agencies" while bolstering the sales team and enhancing programming, resulting in TUSCALOOSA turning into one of the company's best performers in the first quarter.
Asked by analyst BARRY LUCAS of GABELLI AND CO. about the possibility of TOWNSQUARE making a play for any spin-offs from CBS RADIO, CUMULUS, or iHEARTMEDIA, PRICE responded that "We will be willing to take advantage if the situation was right, and do I think there will be opportunities based on dislocations? Maybe to probably ... I think there should be opportunities."
He added, "We still like radio. We think it's a great platform to grow diversified local businesses. And if we could find the right kind of marker with the right kind of cluster -- which means the dominant cluster ... we would look at that. (But) for the last yearand-a-half we haven't found that."