Liggins says it looks like Q1 was the bottom


Sixteen was the number for Radio One in Q2, with both revenues and station operating income (SOI) down 16%. But that was better than the company’s dismal Q1 performance and CEO Alfred Liggins is hopeful.

“At this point it seems likely that the first quarter will prove to be the low-point for 2009 radio revenues. Our second quarter performance showed significant improvement in three out of our top four markets, and we out-performed the general market in 10 of the 14 markets where we have available Miller Kaplan data. The significant cost reduction program that we launched in 2008 has mitigated to some degree the impact of falling revenues on the bottom line, but there is no doubt that the operating environment will remain very challenging for the rest of 2009,” Liggins said in a news release. Radio One no longer conducts quarterly Wall Street conference calls.

Q2 net revenues fell 16% to $70.1 million. That was the same percentage decline as Q1, but Q1 revenues were only $60.7. With cost cuts in place, Q2 SOI was $29.6 million, down only 16%. SOI had plunged 43% in Q1 to $16.5 million.

Radio One said its best performing markets in Q2 were Houston, Baltimore and Atlanta, with Atlanta benefiting from format changes made in Q1. The company also noted that its St. Louis market and syndication business posted revenue growth for the quarter. Community Connect Inc. and Reach Media both suffered declines in Internet revenues.

The company’s still-small TV component was again a strong growth area. Radio One reported that its equity in income from the affiliated company grew to $747,000 in Q2, up dramatically from $29,000 in Q2 of 2008.