Radio One performance varied widely by market


In total, Radio One’s radio stations saw revenues decline 3.5%, while its markets were up 1.5%. Some of its clusters, however, did very well, while others were responsible for the underperformance.

CFO Peter Thompson noted that of the company’s four largest markets, Atlanta was up 8.5%, Baltimore was down 11.9%, Houston was down 9.9% and Washington, DC was down 3.1%. Along with Atlanta, four other clusters posted growth, with St. Louis up 29.4%, Cincinnati up 8.7%, Detroit up 1.8% and Charlotte up 5.4%. As for the other markets with major year-over-year drops, Dallas was off 21% and Columbus, OH was down 14.9%.

Radio Division President Barry Mayo (pictured) blamed the underperformance in Houston and Baltimore on severe under-pricing by a competitor. He said the comps should get easier in the second half, but he didn’t sound happy about having to deal with a rate-cutting competitor. As for Columbus, Mayo noted that it is the last Radio One market to convert to PPM. He’s fund that AQH numbers have dropped even more than usual in Radio One markets where the black population is less than 15%. Ratings in Columbus plunged 40%  from the last Arbitron diary report. He noted that a similar situation in Cincinnati led to some format modifications, so “we are in the process of evaluating our options in Columbus.