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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Things Are Skittish"


Radio companies that come in with flat revenue during the first three months of the year, or are down less than their industry peers, now consider those quarters to be a success. As first-quarter-earnings season begins to wind down, flat has pretty much been radio's story. Emmis reported a revenue increase of 0.8 percent for December, January, and February (which is Emmis' fiscal fourth quarter) in Miller Kaplan markets that were down 2 percent.

CEO Jeff Smulyan said the New York market was very weak, down 7 1/2 percent overall, saying the radio industry is "skittish" and off to a tough start. Of particular interest was Smulyan's reporting that the wireless advertising category was down 35 percent. That's a theme we've heard a lot from other CEOs over the past few weeks. Looking ahead, Smulyan and CFO Pat Walsh say their radio division is pacing -6.5 percent for the company's fiscal Q1 (March, April, and May) and up mid-single digits in Q2 (June, July, and August) .

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