Bob Neil was not too upset about the performance of Cox Radio in the first quarter of 2008 – he said nobody likes looking at red numbers, but he is happy with how his group performed compared to its peers. And at least one number was nice and black: Free cash flow was reported at $21.944M, an 8.4% increase over Q1 2007. Political helped a little, it was up from $200K to $600K. But most of the other key numbers were red. Net revenues were down 2.9% to $97.802M, station operating income was down 4.4% to $36.158M, operating income was down 10.4% to $25.144M, and net income was down 5.3% to $12.809M. Neil expressed his belief that we’re in a consumer recession, which happens to hit categories near and dear to radio sales departments especially hard, as an explanation for the bad overall conditions.