How’s business at Radio One?


Alfred LigginsCEO Alfred Liggins was obviously a happy man as he announced that Q1 radio revenues were up at Radio One, reversing a Q4 decline. Not surprisingly, during his conference call with analysts they wanted to know how things are going for Q2 and beyond…

Liggins applauded the radio group performance in Q1 and CFO Peter Thompson provided some additional detail. Radio division revenues were up 9.3% to $52.7 million, including Reach Media and without adjusting for the company’s annual Gospel Cruise taking place in Q1 (March) this year instead of Q2 (April) in 2011. Adjusting for those, radio revenues were up 6.4%. The CFO also noted that all markets were up except for Dallas and Houston. Reach itself was down 8% to $13.6 million. Radio One’s Internet revenues w3ere up 64.6% to $5.8 million and TV One boosted revenues 4.6% to $32.2 million.

Q2 pacings are up double digits, Liggins told the analysts. April was up modestly, he noted, about 3%. But May is “off the charts” – pacing up more than 20%. June is also pacing up, but not at much as May.

Looking further out, Liggins is projecting that Radio One will outperform the broader radio industry throughout 2012.

RBR-TVBR observation: Even as business improves for the company’s core Urban stations, Radio One appears to have a secret weapon. Its new All News KROI-FM Houston isn’t having much impact on revenues yet, but is rapidly growing in the ratings. Liggins noted that All New radio tends to attract mostly consistent local advertisers – and he had previously referred to it as an “inventory machine” – so it could kick in significant revenues in the future.