Saga Communications Revs Flat In Q1

As more broadcast radio groups announce their results, there’s no question the first quarter of the year was distinctly mediocre for the radio industry, with most companies reporting that revenues were flat or down in the first three months of the year.

The latest not-so-stellar news comes from Saga Communications, where total revenues slipped 1.2% from $29.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 to $29.1 million in the first quarter of 2015.

Within these figures, radio revenues as reported on a same station basis were flat at $24.3 million; on an actual basis (including divested stations) they were down 2.4% from $24.9 million. The company’s smaller TV division saw revenues increase 6.6% from $4.5 million to $4.8 million.

Saga CEO Ed Christian attributed the results to general weakness in the radio business, noting that “nobody in the broadcast industry is happy with Q1.” However, he was optimistic about the rest of the year, citing signs of an economic recovery and returning consumer confidence.



As noted, Saga rounds out the impression of an uninspired quarter for the radio business.

Previously, Entercom Communications reported that total revenues were basically flat in the first quarter, at $78.4 million, and urban broadcaster Radio One reported that total revenues decreased 4.8% to $105.8 million. Cumulus Media, the country’s second-largest broadcast radio group, reported that total revenues fell 7% to $251.2 million.

It wasn’t all bad news. On the positive side, iHeartMedia, formerly Clear Channel, reported that radio revenues increased 4.1% to $697.8 million in the quarter.

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