Entercom Communications President/CEO David Field highlighted new programs aimed at attracting and keeping employees in his earnings call with analysts on Thursday.
The company is adding an employee stock purchase plan, a student loan payment plan and a volunteer plan, in which an employee would get a half-day each quarter to volunteer for an organization they care about.
Entercom is doing this “to distinguish ourselves” as well as attract talent, says Field.
Because the company is focused on building great local brands with local content, strong marketing solutions and “bringing in people who thrive at Entercom,” he says.
Fourth quarter and 2015 results included the impact of the $105M acquisition of 15 stations from Lincoln Financial Media in four markets: Atlanta, Denver, Miami and San Diego as well as the station swap with Bonneville. Through that, Entercom acquired KSWD(FM), Los Angeles in exchange for some stations the company owned in Denver.
Now owning stations in Los Angeles and Miami “improved our competitive position,” so the company could integrate the new assets and end 2015 with lower leverage than 2014, according to Field.
EVP/CFO Steve Fisher explained the company ended “unneeded leases” and made select staff reductions in the third quarter and is bringing the acquired Lincoln assets “up to Entercom and industry norms,” sales wise.
The real story of the fourth quarter was “organic sales growth,” according to Field.
In the quarter, net revenues increased 16% to $117.7 million. Operating expenses increased 21% to $76.7 million. Executives mentioned they plan to re-locate some studios and offices this year for efficiency.
Station operating income rose 7% to $41 million. Adjusted EBITDA increased 7% to $35.2 million in Q4 and free cash flow increased 9% to $25.5 million.
For full-year 2015, net revenues increased 8% to $411.4 million while station expenses rose 11% to $286.5 million.
Station operating income rose 3% to $124.9 million. Adjusted EBITDA increased 3% to $102.7 million and free cash flow rose 9% to $61.4 million.