Looking ahead at Radio One


CEO Alfred Liggins and CFO Scott Royster are seeing more of the same coming up in Q4, meaning continued sluggishness in the radio business. Radio One stations face a particular challenge in overcoming the lack of political revenue which rolled in last year in Baltimore, Washington DC and all of its Ohio markets. Liggins said he was pleased that his stations were doing as well as they were given this obstacle.

The company sees upside in several markets, including Atlanta, Dallas, Cincinnati, maybe Washington DC. And given that Philadelphia has been a "disaster," it has almost nowhere to go but up. There’s room to grow in Houston as well, although they are still on the Arbitron PPM shakedown cruise there making accurate prognostication difficult. Liggins noted that the new ratings regime was experiencing growing pains but otherwise offered no particular criticism of it.

The company has no plans for additional station sell-offs, and indicated it would be open to strategic acquisitions if they make sense, not that there seem to be any on the horizon (Liggins offered a pipedream about a duopoly acquisition or LMA in Los Angeles). It is looking to expand Reach Media, upgrade its internet presence, and keep on doing what it’s doing with TV One. They noted that getting carriage on Echostar and Cablevision would be the best possible event to spur growth there.