Westwood One Revenues Fall In Q4; Deal Reached With Lenders
March 30, 2010 at 2:40 PM (PT)
WESTWOOD ONE fourth-quarter 2009 revenue fell 8.7% year-to-year to $92.3 million, with the company noting that the decrease was smaller than the drops for the first three quarters of the year and ascribing it to "a cautious return to advertiser spending in the face of continued uncertainty in the fourth-quarter marketplace." Network Radio revenue decreased 5.3% to $52.1 million, with METRO TRAFFIC revenue off 12.6% to $40.3 million.
The company reported a net loss of $3.9 million (19 cents/diluted share) for the quarter, compared to a net loss of $222.5 million in 2008, which included a $224.1 million goodwill impairment charge; without the charge, the company would have registered a $1.6 million gain in fourth quarter 2008. The company's operating loss, excluding 2008's $224.1 million goodwill impairment charges, widened from $7.8 million to $9.6 million, which the company said reflected higher depreciation and amortization expenses, partially offset by lower restructuring and special charges. Adjusted EBITDA rose from $5.8 million to $6.1 million.
Along with the financial reports, the company also announced that on MARCH 30th, it reached a deal with lenders to modify its debt covenants for 2010 and 2011.
WESTWOOD ONE also noted in its release that it will be rolling out its SIGALERT traffic product, acquired with the purchase of JAYTU in DECEMBER 2008. nationwide in 2010, and its METRO TELEVISION TV traffic reports will be distributed by LITTON NEWS SOURCE as part of LITTON's feature syndication for television news content.
"WESTWOOD ONE achieved significant milestones in its turnaround at the end of 2009 and is well positioned to participate in the economic recovery that has begun in the radio industry," said President ROD SHERWOOD. "In the fourth quarter of 2009, our revenue performance improved, and our earnings (on an Adjusted EBITDA basis) were up compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, reflecting both improvements in advertising spending, and the results of our cost reduction program.
"Our focus was to realign our capital structure, reduce our operating costs by approximately $60 million on an annualized basis over the course of the turnaround, and invest in areas with the most potential to grow revenue in 2010 and beyond. To that end, we invested in new programming, added to our sales force in both Network Radio and METRO TRAFFIC, upgraded our systems infrastructure, and developed new revenue initiatives. We ended the year with positive momentum that has continued in the first quarter of 2010.
"In addition to the above, on MARCH 30th, 2010, we were able to reach an agreement with our lenders to modify our debt covenants for 2010 and 2011, beginning with the quarter ending MARCH 31st, 2010. These new covenant levels will provide us with a significant increase in our operational and financial flexibility and reduce financial risk. These amendments will allow us to continue to focus on our revenue initiatives and enacting our plans to continue investing in our infrastructure and the key drivers of our business on a broader basis."