Just over a year after selling North American Midway Entertainment (NAME) for $23.5 million, Townsquare Media has parted with another parcel of its live events business. The company has sold its music festival portfolio, which comprises multi-day music events, to concert promotion giant Live Nation for $10 million.
Townsquare’s Live Events segment, where revenue declined 15% in the second quarter, now consists solely of 200 annual local live events in markets where the company owns radio stations.
The company disclosed the sale of the festivals during its second quarter earnings call Tuesday morning. “After carefully evaluating our asset portfolio we determined that music festivals were not core to our Local First strategy, and we began a search for a buyer of these assets,” CEO Bill Wilson told investors. “Our remaining Live Events business consists of our 200 annually recurring heritage local live events which are a core part of our Local First strategy and we believe often have a competitive advantage.”
The division put a drag on revenues for the company. In addition to a 15% decline in second quarter, they fell 9% in first quarter after decreasing for full year 2018. Last year’s sale of NAME, the nation’s largest provider of rides, games and food concessions, freed up cash for Townquare to buy CHR “94.5PST” WPST in Trenton, NJ, along with two AM signals, from Connoisseur Media to pair with top-rated talker "New Jersey 101.5" WKXW in the market.
Although live events revenue continues to decline, the company was able to keep the division’s profits stable and improve profit margins with cost cutting and eliminating some non-core events with low margins. “For the remainder of the year, we expect to see similar revenue trends as we fine-tune our portfolio to focus on live events that are core to our markets and meaningful to our communities and have healthy margins,” Wilson explained. Even though it plans to keep reducing expenses, Townsquare said it expects live events profit to drop again before returning to “modest growth” in 2020.