Cox Radio posted gains in 2008 and Q4


Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil has stuck to his guns, refusing to add inventory or push shorter spots, and his contrarian result is that net revenues were up 1.1% for Q4 to 114.3 million and 1% to 444.9 million for all of 2007. That handily beat the industry average and all other public companies, with the exception of the same-station results of Regent, which is generally in much smaller markets. Neil has no intention of changing what he’s doing and will continue to make needed investments in operations. He’s in it for the long-haul, even though he admits that his company isn’t immune to the tough trends in the industry and the economy as a whole. So, costs were up more than revenues. Station operating income declined 2.4% in Q4 to 46.4 million and was down 3.7% for the year to 178.9 million. Neil, by the way, especially noted the Cox stations in Atlanta, Birmingham and Greenville for leading the company’s revenue growth in 2007. Local ad sales were up 3% overall in Q4, while national was down 9%. Cox Radio Internet revenues grew 11%.

As for Q1, only February looks to be an up month and the company is projecting a single digit decline.