Q4 off slightly for Liberman


LBI Media, the parent company of Liberman Broadcasting, reports that Q4 revenues declined 4.5% to $26.4 million. Radio was up 1% to $15.7 million, but television down 12% to $10.7 million. Adjusted EBITDA was down 36% to $6.3 million, with radio down 11% to $5.9 million and TV down 86% to $476K.

The tally for the full year was a bit better. Total revenues gained 2% to $117.7 million, with radio up 9% to $66.7 million and TV down 6% to $51 million. Adjusted EBITDA was down 1% to $44.6 million, with radio down 7% to $32.1 million and TV down 32% to $12.5 million.

“2008 was a challenging yet successful year for LBI Media. Despite the difficult economic environment and the many issues faced by the broadcast industry, we managed to outperform our peers. While we experienced the challenges of a very difficult advertising market faced by the industry, our ratings and market share grew through strong radio and television programming,” said Executive Vice President Lenard Liberman. 

“Despite the current economic climate, our radio assets have performed well in 2008 with growth across all of our markets, reflecting improved station ratings and increased national advertiser acceptance of our station formats. Our flagship radio stations in Los Angeles and Houston, Que Buena and La Raza, are now the number one stations in their respective markets all day in the Hispanic Adults 18-49 demographic according to the January 2009 PPM. Our flagship radio station in Dallas, La Raza, is also the number one Hispanic station in the market all day in the Hispanic Male 18-34 demographic based on the January 2009 PPM. The ratings success of our radio stations bodes well for our future growth as we seek to convert our audiences into increased advertising dollars,” he noted.

“While overall television revenues were down in 2008, we are encouraged by the ratings success of our internally produced programming. We expect our television stations to garner an increasing share of advertising revenues across our markets as we capitalize on our ratings growth as the economy recovers, including both bigger shares on agency buys, as well as increased business with local advertisers,” said Liberman in the company’s quarterly release.

A conference call with analysts is set for Thursday. LBI is privately owned, but has public bonds.

Despite, the current economic downturn, LBI is planning for a big year in 2009, particularly the launch of its national TV network, Estrella TV.

“We expect to continue to capitalize on the strength of our content in both radio and television. In July of this year, we plan to launch our national television network, EstrellaTV, which we expect will reach about 70% of all Hispanic television households through both our owned and operated stations, as well as our affiliates. We anticipate that this will allow us to access Hispanic network advertising budgets that we do not have access to today. With EstrellaTV, our affiliate network, and our strong portfolio of stations, we will be in a position to offer our clients unparalleled advertising solutions. Despite the difficult near-term economic conditions, we are committed to continuing to execute our strategy of delivering the best and most creative advertising solutions for our clients, and investing in our content to further increase our ratings success and market shares. With the launch of EstrellaTV, we believe we will solidify our strategic position as a leader of providing content and advertising solutions for a rapidly growing and vibrant Hispanic community,” Liberman said.