Citadel Reports 'Difficult' Q4, Initiates Major Changes
February 29, 2008 at 6:46 PM (PT)
On the heels of CITADEL announcing fourth-quarter results that showed widening losses, reports started coming in on dramatic changes and downsizing at a number of its stations. The first casualties came in from stations in ATLANTA and WASHINGTON, D.C., with later reports surfacing in NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO and DALLAS.
The ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSITUTION reports that wholesale changes are ongoing at Country WKHX (KICKS 101.5) and WYAY (EAGLE 106.7), with 12 out of the 15 on-air staff members being dismissed. The only survivors are WKHX morning hosts CADILLAC JACK and DALLAS MCCADE, promotions BUCK THE TRUCK and middays BILL CELLER. Among those being laid off are WYAY mornings RHUBARB JONES and morning show producer KRISTEN GATES, WKHX afternoons WYLIE ROSE, nights SCOTTY O'BRIEN, afternoons/Imaging Dir. STEVE MITCHELL, JIM VANN and middays SANDY WEAVER.
Sources told the AJC that the EAGLE may flip to Talk, with syndicated DON IMUS being the new morning show. Read the complete story here.
IN WASHINGTON, D.C., ALL ACCESS has confirmed that Smooth Jazz WJZW/WASHINGTON has dropped Smooth Jazz for Oldies. DC radio veteran STEVE ALLAN (formerly with WASH and WBIG) will stay on-board as programmer. All of the JZW personalities are out the door. New calls are expected. ALL ACCESS has discovered www.trueoldies1059.com/.
At Talk WMAL-A/WASHINGTON, 9-11:45a ET host and station veteran CHRIS CORE has exited, with his name already off the station's website. Ops Dir./News Dir. JOHN MATTHEWS and reporter MATT BUSH were also reportedly cut FRIDAY.
ALL ACCESS hears that Talk WABC-A/NEW YORK 10a-11:45a host JOHN GAMBLING has exited as well, (to be replaced by CURTIS SLIWA) as has newsman GEORGE WEBER. At sister Hot AC WPLJ, afternoons ROCKY ALLEN is out, with night-timer RACE TAYLOR segueing to afternoons. A handful of layoffs are going down at Talk KABC and Classic Rock KLOS/LOS ANGELES. Word has it that posible casualties could include KABC overnighter PETER TILDEN and APD BERNARD PENDERGRASS, KLOS Promotions Director CW WEST and KABC Production Dir. LARRY REED .
In DALLAS, long-time Country KSCS and KTYS Production Dir. WALT "THE TROOPER" TROUP has been let go. He can be reached email@example.com.
At Talk WLS-A/CHICAGO, ROE CONN's traffic reporter/sidekick CHRISTINA FILIAGGI, city hall correspondent BILL CAMERON, News Dir. JENNIFER KEIPER, reporter DAVID JENNINGS, weekend hosts NATE CLAY and JAKE HARTFORD, LSM PATRICK FITZGERALD, and Sales Assistant MARY HAYDEN were reportedly among those let go FRIDAY.
About That Fourth Quarter....
On the financial side, CITADEL fourth-quarter net revenues more than doubled with the addition of the ABC RADIO operations, jumping from $114 million to $245.5 million, but net loss widened from $1.1 million to $848 million (1 cent to $3.24/share). Pro forma revenues fell 5.1% to $258.5 million, attributed to lower revenues in the SAN FRANCISCO, WASHINGTON, CHICAGO, ATLANTA, NEW YORK, BIRMINGHAM, DALLAS, and LOS ANGELES clusters.
In a statement issued with the financial report, Chairman/CEO FARID SULEMAN said, "The fourth quarter and the year ended DECEMBER 31, 2007 was difficult for the broadcasting industry and the Company. The performance of the larger market radio stations acquired in the ABC Merger was particularly disappointing. Whereas the Company continues to believe that the long-term prospects from these stations will be positive, the Company in the interim is completing a major restructuring of these stations to both improve short-term profitability as well as position them for future growth. The Company is however pleased with the potential growth and profitability of the ABC Network. The Company's plan for the coming year is to focus on immediately improving the profitability of the ABC Radio stations as well as use the Company's considerable free cash flow to pay down debt."
Citadel Stock Takes A Pounding
All this adds up to a tough day on WALL STREET for the company. Track the stock price here.