Double-digit downer for Beasley


Beasley Broadcast Group Inc. (BBGI) reports that Q2 revenues were down 24% and station operating income (SOI) 28%. The biggest hits came in the company’s Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Philadelphia and Las Vegas markets.

With net revenues down 24% to $23.6 million in Q2, BBGI CFO Caroline Beasley though it important to remind analysts and investors that the company remained profitable despite the downturn. SOI was down 28% to $6.7 million and BBGI boasted net income of $700K, or three cents per share.

BBGI underperformed its markets in the quarter. For local revenues, its markets were down 25% and BBGI’s stations were down 26%. The markets were down 22% for national, but BBGI fell 39%.

One big factor was the Philadelphia market, where BBGI had complained about the drop its Country WXTU-FM had suffered when Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) was implemented. COO Bruce Beasley. With the station falling from #6 or #7 in the market 25-54 under diary ratings to #13 or #14 under PPM, “we saw a pretty significant drop in rates,” Bruce Beasley said, blaming the problem on the composition of Arbitron’s 25-54 sample in the PPM panel. “Now with the better listening sample the station has moved back to 8th in the most recent ratings,” he noted. “In radio, as we all know, revenue follows ratings.”

For Miami, BBGI reported that the market was down 21% and its cluster was down 23%. The Las Vegas market was down 31% and BBGI outperformed, down 30%. The Ft. Myers-Naples market was down 32% and BBGI only 26%.

Bruce Beasley said he is please with national sale by Katz, following the demise of Interep. “Second quarter national sales were impacted in part by the transition,” he noted.

As he took questions from analysts, Bruce Beasley stated, “We believe we saw second quarter as our bottom, purely and simply in our markets where Beasley participates.”

Looking to the future, one analyst wanted to know if he thinks both Arbitron and Nielsen will be competing in the radio ratings business five years out. “Our opinion is, based on some broadcaster support for Nielsen, that we believe there will be two, both Arbitron and Nielsen in five years,” Bruce Beasley answered.