Cumulus Up On Westwood One Acquisition, Political Ads

Cumulus Media, the country's second-largest broadcast radio group, announced that total revenues jumped 19.6% from $262.5 million in the third quarter of 2013 to $313.9 million in the third quarter of 2014, due mostly to the acquisition of Westwood One as well as increases in political and digital advertising revenues. If Westwood One's results are included in the prior-year comparison, total revenues were basically flat.

Total political advertising increased from $1.3 million to $4.3 million over the same period -- a 245% increase -- while digital advertising jumped 135% from $5.4 million to $12.6 million. In both cases much of the increase was also due to the Westwood One acquisition.

These gains offset decreases in core local revenues, which slipped 3.2%. Meanwhile, national revenues edged up 2.8% and network revenues were also basically flat. When Westwood One is included in the comparison, total broadcast advertising revenue fell by $12.5 million -- from $300.1 million to $287.6 million.



The Cumulus announcement rounds out what looks to have been a fairly mediocre third quarter for the radio business, judging by previous earnings results from other broadcast radio groups.

Total revenues at iHeartRadio (formerly Clear Channel Radio) rose 1% from $823.9 million to $830.5 million, powered by growth in national broadcast radio, political advertising, and traffic and weather services. These increases were partially offset by lower local broadcast radio revenues.

Emmis Communications reported that total revenues for its financial quarter -- including June, July, and August -- slipped 1.7% to $47.6 million, when recently acquired properties were included in the prior-year comparison.

Beasley Broadcast Group, which owns over 40 stations in eight states, announced that total revenues fell 5.1% from $13.7 million in the third quarter of 2013 to $13 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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