Urban One reports its radio division revenue increased 1.1% during third quarter although when the sale of urban AC “105.9 Kiss FM” WDMK Detroit to Beasley Broadcast Group is accounted for, same-station revenue was up a stronger 4.2%, according to CEO Alfred Liggins. “I was pleased that we were able to grow the radio broadcasting segment,” he said in the announcement, saying the $13.5 million station sale resulted in an improved cash position and lower leverage for its balance sheet.
Urban One says the best-performing markets during the third quarter included Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Raleigh, St. Louis, and Washington DC. Each posted revenue growth during the quarter. On the other side it said the Detroit and Indianapolis markets saw revenue declines during the quarter.
Reach Media, the company segment that includes the syndicated radio shows from Tom Joyner, Rickey Smiley, Russ Parr, and DL Hughley, saw its revenue increase marginally during the third quarter compared a year earlier. That was in part from additional revenue brought in by the Tom Joyner One More Time Experience, a multi-city tour event.
Urban One reports overall third quarter revenue totaled $111.1 million during the quarter, an increase of 0.3% compared to a year ago. Net revenue for its digital segment decreased 6.6%, primarily due to decreases in direct revenues. Liggins said cable television advertising was “robust” in the quarter, up 7.8%.
Looking ahead, Liggins said radio is currently pacing behind last year. “Same-station core radio revenues, excluding political, are currently pacing down low single digits for the fourth quarter,” he said. Nevertheless he told investors Thursday he still believes Urban One is “well positioned” to hit its target of having earnings of $138 million to $140 million in 2019.
Look for more color and commentary from Urban One’s third quarter 2019 financial performance in Friday morning’s Inside Radio.