Clear Channel Dials Rev Uptick
CC Media Holdings, the parent company of Clear Channel Communications, reported that total revenues edged up less than 1% from $1.58 billion in the third quarter of 2011 to $1.59
billion in the third quarter of 2012. This was due to modest growth at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, formerly Clear Channel Radio, where revenues increased 1% from $791.4 million to $798.8
Clear Channel’s radio business has benefited from political advertising spending, which contributed $14 million in the third quarter, compared to $4 million in the third quarter of 2011.
Growth in national advertising, which increased 7%, as well as digital radio services and revenues associated with the company’s iHeartRadio Music Festival, also
contributed to overall growth in the third quarter.
The company’s U.S. outdoor advertising business also posted positive figures, with total revenues increasing 2% from $326.9 million to $335 million. Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman noted progress on long-term projects in the third quarter, including the installation of 41 new digital billboards, bringing the total to 1,004 across the U.S., and the launch of ClearVision, a new TV network in airports that is accessible via travelers’ mobile devices.
Clear Channel’s international outdoor business did not fare quite as well, with a 6% drop in revenues from $421.6 million to $396.1 million. This was partly attributed to foreign exchange fluctuations, as well as the uncertain economic environment in Europe -- particularly in France, southern Europe and Scandinavia.
Last week, Clear Channel rival Sirius XM reported that total revenues increased 14% to $867 million in the third quarter, reflecting strong subscriber growth: the satellite radio broadcaster added 446,000 new subscribers in the third quarter, bringing its total subscriber base to 23.4 million.
The company is projecting total subscriber growth of 1.8 million for 2012. Sirius XM stockholders don’t seem concerned by CEO Mel Karmazin’s announcement in late October that he will step down on Feb. 1, 2013, following the expiration of his current contract.
Karmazin was widely expected to depart the company as it comes under the control of Liberty Media, following Karmazin’s public clashes with Liberty CEO John Malone in previous years.