In a filing, Clear Channel Communications parent CC Media Holdings Inc. said the company experienced at 23% loss in revenue during Q1 2009 compared to the same quarter last year, dropping from $1.56B to $1.21B. Meanwhile, it joined multimeda Univision on a list of 10 bankruptcy-endangered companies assembled by MSN Money.
Clear Channel’s full results are scheduled to be made public 5/11/09. But we know it has cut expenses by a matter of 12% and thanks to the $15.7B in debt taken on over the summer to go private, that part of its balance sheet has gone from $5.9B to $21B.
MSN says that Clear Channel needs to rake in cash, but that is easier said than done when its core radio industry is looking at what it anticipates will be an overall loss of 11% in revenue in 2009. It noted a rough Q4 2008 for the company, but with only a 13% loss, that quarter actually looks good compared to how Q1 2009 has turned out.
The story is much the same at Hispanic television and radio operator Univision. It is suffering along with the rest of its competitors in a horrible advertising environment, while attempting to service the massive amount of debt it took to grow the company to its current size.
In case you’re interested, MSN’s remaining eight at risk companies include Rite Aid, Six Flags, Beazer Homes USA, Harrah’s Entertainment, MGM Mirage, United Airlines, Ford Motor and GM.
RBR/TVBR observation: It’s sad that so many companies are slaves to their creditors rather than their clients and advertisers. Broadcasters are facing secular challenges driven by ever-increasing hordes of new competitors. In the past, the industry has dug in, innovated and stayed right on top. Now it seems like the name of the game is a combination of bill juggling and belt tightening. It’s no way to run a recovery.
Related Reports follow the pattern:
4/20/09 – Clear Channel waxes Congress
4/20/09 – Early peek at Clear Channel’s numbers
4/17/09 – The Clear Channel mirror
4/16/-09 – CC Radio: Less local programming = more local PSAs
4/16/09 – Clear Channel putting more Non-Local programming on stations
4/14/09 – Clear Channel adding syndicated programming in local markets