Radio One Revenues Tumble

RadioUrban broadcaster Radio One had “an awful fourth quarter,” according to CEO and president Alfred Liggins III, who confessed that the company’s poor performance was “shocking.” Total revenues dropped 9.4%, due to losses across all Radio One’s major markets, partly because of the absence of political advertising, format changes and the loss of several big national accounts. When political ads are excluded, core radio revenues were still down 4.2%.

Radio One also recorded a non-cash impairment charge (against goodwill and other intangible assets) of $22.3 million; this resulted in a net operating loss of approximately $9 million.

Liggins said the company has been moving away from urban formats in some markets because they were not delivering the same audience formats under measurement by Arbitron’s portable people meter. Thus, a formerly urban format station in Houston has been reinvented as an all-news station, with similar changes in the works in other markets.



The radio business in general had a mediocre 2011. According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, total radio ad revenues decreased 2% in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $4.5 billion. For the full year, total ad revenues increased 1% to $17.4 billion.

The company has better news to report from its cable TV division, TV One, which targets urban audiences and saw revenues grow 8.7% in the fourth quarter of 2011. Liggins said he expects TV One’s base earnings to increase to $40 million in 2012, significantly boosting the company’s bottom line.

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