2011 looking good for Radio One after Q4 growth


Radio One underperformed its markets in Q4, but still grew its core radio business by 8.1%. Net revenues for the entire company were up 5.8% to $71.2 million. Station operating income for the quarter was up 6.5% to $28 million.

CEO Alfred Liggins told Wall Street analysts that the Interactive One online business “hit a wall” in Q4, with revenues down 8% for the quarter. However, the online business is still expected to reach break-even in 2011.

“Our Q4 was a solid quarter for us and it was the best of 2010. We’re seeing that the radio industry continues to improve in 2011 as the broader economy improves, albeit we’re starting out a little slow, but we’re still very optimistic about the year based on trends that we’re seeing,” Liggins said.

CFO Peter Thompson gave analysts details on radio performance in the quarter. Radio, excluding Reach Media, grew revenues 8.1% to $59.9 million. Reach Media had net revenues of $9.3 million, down 5.3% from Q4 of 2009.

For Radio One’s four biggest markets, Houston grew revenues 11.6%, Washington, DC 6.7%, Atlanta 22.1% and Baltimore 0.5%.

Interactive revenues were down 8% in the quarter to $3.7 million.

How’s Q1 looking? Thompson told the analysts that the radio group is currently pacing flat to up in the single digits.

Liggins declared that 2010 appeared to be the floor for Reach Media, which syndicates the Tom Joyner Morning Show and operates Joyner’s BlackAmericaWeb.com, Sky Shows, SkyShowTV, and the Tom Joyner Family Reunion, and that it has turned the corner. “They’re actually having a pretty decent Q1,” Liggins said of Reach.