Entercom Hears Ka-Ching!

The tentative recovery in the radio business appears to be gaining steam, judging by the latest round of second-quarter results from big radio groups. These include Entercom Communications, where total revenues, cash flow, and earnings increased in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the same quarter in 2009.

According to Entercom, which owns 110 radio stations in 23 markets nationwide, total revenues increased 4% from $101.7 million to $105.8 million in the second quarter.

Earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortization rose 11% to $33.4 million, cash flow jumped 19% to $26.4 million, and station operating income grew 8% to $34.8 million.

These results build on a promising first quarter, when total revenues increased 7% to $80.8 million and operating income almost doubled to $12.2 million.

The rebound appears to be continuing into the second half of 2010, according to Entercom President and CEO David Field, who said the company is "highly enthusiastic about our future prospects." He cited the likelihood of continued economic recovery, the ad market rebound, radio's excellent audience listening trends and cost effectiveness, secular weakness in certain competitive media, and "the impact of our internal digital and business development initiatives."

Entercom also paid down its debt by $16.8 million in the second quarter. Over the last two years, the company has paid down its debt by about $200 million, but still carries about $700 million in debt.

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