From 2007-2008, net revenues slipped 6% to $439 million. Adding to the bleak picture, the company also took a non-cash after-tax impairment charge in the fourth quarter amounting to $395.2 million, reflecting a drop in value of its intangible assets.
Entercom CEO David Field noted that there were some bright spots, including a 3% increase in operating cash flow and a 3% decrease in station operating expenses. The company also paid down its debt by $140 million, meaning that it will probably be able to avoid the kind of financial woes that are currently undermining lender and investor confidence in other radio station owners.
Nonetheless, the bottom-line comparisons were tough, with station operating income falling 12% in 2008 to $165.2 million. Ominously, like the revenue declines, this trend accelerated over the course of the year, with same-station operating income falling 5% in the first quarter, 3% in the second, 15% in the third and 25% in the fourth. This mirrored the quarterly declines in net revenue, which fell 4% in the first quarter, 1% in the second, 7% in the third and 14% in the fourth.
These stats are also roughly in line with the radio industry overall.
According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, total radio revenues fell 5% in the first quarter, 6% in the second, 9% in the third and 11% in the fourth.