Cumulus Revs Rise, Rdio Drives Digital Up

Broadcast radio group Cumulus Media said total revenues increased 3.7% from $281.5 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $292 million in the first quarter of 2014, when revenues from WestwoodOne, acquired in December 2013, are included.
 
Chairman, CEO and president Lew Dickey the positive first quarter results largely to increased advertising revenues, noting that the core advertising business rose 1.1%, or $3.1 million, when political ad revenues are excluded, while national ad revenues increased 4%, led by automotive, healthcare and insurance advertising.

According to Dickey, digital revenues increased 90%, thanks in part, to growth at Rdio, a subscription digital radio platform in which Cumulus acquired a stake last September. Cumulus is helping Rdio introduce free, ad-supported digital audio services.
 
Dickey also noted that in the first quarter, Cumulus made substantial progress in its integration of WestwoodOne, a radio network that provides syndicated news, sports, talk and music programming, as well as advertising and events services. Westwood’s total revenues came to $71 million in the first quarter of 2014, and Dickey expects the addition to yield $41 million in savings when integration is complete sometime next year.
 
Cumulus’ results are broadly in line with other radio broadcast groups.

Previously, Clear Channel Communications announced that total revenues at Clear Channel Entertainment and Media, its radio division, increased 2% from $656.6 million in the first quarter of 2013 to $670.3 million in the first quarter of 2014, due largely to higher revenues at the radio division’s traffic and weather operations. That's along with growth in national ad revenues, resulting from higher spending in the telecom, health care and automotive categories.
 
It hasn’t all been good news, however/ Journal Communications reported that its radio revenues slipped 4% from $15.9 million to $15.2 million, due mostly to a 3.2% decrease in local ad revenues and an 18% drop in national ad revenue, resulting from weak demand in the automotive and financial advertising categories.

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