The inclusion of stations from Citadel fueled a 351.5% increase in net revenue, from $62.2M to $281M – but on a pro forma basis, the company actually suffered a 1.7% slip, dropping $4.8M to $285.2M. Lew Dickey said the shortfall could be attributed to just a handful of stations.
That result was produced without taking into account the 7/31/12 close of the company’s deal with Townsquare, which brought in a smaller number of radio stations than left the company and also brought in $116M in cash.
Cumulus leader Lew Dickey said that the primary focus of the company was to continue the assimilation of Citadel and reap the synergy benefits of that project.
The shortfall in pro forma revenue was laid at the doorstep of some of the company’s News/Talk stations in top ten markets. Dickey said that losses at three of them accounted for more than the entire company’s shortfall, and that if the stations in question are excluded from results, the radio division actually would have gained 2%.
Political income is $5.3M year-to-date, with Cumulus expecting to bring in $33M total, with the bulk of it coming after Labor Day.
Q3 pacings are said to be flat, but Q4 is in the +8% range. However, Dickey said he wouldn’t read too much into the Q4 stat on an industry-wide basis – it is Cumulus-specific, based on easy comps at the Citadel stations and anticipated improvements in stations undergoing format overhauls.
Fixing the News-Talkers is a primary goal of the company, as is adding talent on the programming side. The company is invested in growing the shows of Mike Huckabee, Geraldo Rivera and Sanjay Gupta, and hopes to announce the signing of additional talent in the coming months.
It’s investment in SweetJack in partnership with CCU is aiming at having 200 markets by year’s end. The presence of a broad national distribution platform is hoped to position it to compete in large daily deal market, could be a meaningful long-term revenue source.
Likewise, Cumulus participation in iHeart is seen as a growth opportunity. Whereas streaming revenue has been less than 1% of total revenue, the company sees the potential to get to 5%.