Liberman outperformed in Q3


Radio revenues grew in a down market for Liberman Broadcasting in Q3 – and Executive VP Lenard Liberman was upbeat about TV as well in the company’s quarterly conference call as it moves full speed ahead to launch a new national network in early 2009. In all, revenues were up 1.7% in Q3 to $30.8 million for Liberman Broadcasting’s parent company, LBI Media Inc.

With nine radio stations and one TV station in the Houston market, Liberman took a hit from Hurricane Ike. The company said lost air time and cancellations in Houston probably cost it one percentage point, so total revenues would probably have been up 2.7% in the quarter but for the hurricane impact.

While the radio industry has been suffering, Liberman reported strength across all of its markets for the quarter. Telecommunications was one strong category, along with a couple that reflect the current economic challenges the nation is facing: loan modification services and bankruptcy attorneys.

Radio revenues rose 6% in the quarter to $17.5 million, with Los Angeles particularly strong. Adjusted EBITDA for radio was up 5% to $8.8 million.

In television, revenues decline 3% to $13.4 million and EBITDA was off 21% to $4.2 million.

“While net revenues declined at our television group, we are encouraged by strong sequential improvement at KRCA-TV in Los Angeles. Similar to our peers, the station has been impacted by softness in infomercial advertising and weakness in the mortgage and auto categories. However, during the quarter, we demonstrated success in leveraging our improved programming and increased audience shares to drive strong results in our national and agency driven business,” said Lenard Liberman.

The company is focusing on producing original television programming as it prepares for the early 2009 launch of Estrella TV. Liberman is in active talks to sign affiliates and, while most TV companies are retrenching, Liberman is seeking acquisitions in selected target markets.