Yet another radio group is reporting sequential improvement, with Q3 revenues still down from a year ago, but not down as much as in Q2. Cumulus Media reports that its Q3 net revenues fell 18.5% to $65.1 million. Net revenues had been down 21.1% in Q2.
Station operating income (SOI) was down less, due to cost cutting. Station operating expenses dropped 20.9% to $40.2 million. That produced SOI of $25 million, down only 14.4% from a year earlier.
Cumulus Media also piled up some tax benefits for future use. The company recorded an income tax benefit of $27.2 million in Q3, whereas it recorded an income tax expense of $7.3 million in Q3 of 2008.
Although the publicly traded company’s equity position in Cumulus Media Partners (CMP) was diluted by the financial restructuring of CMP back in the spring, Cumulus Media still gets paid for managing CMP. That payment of $1 million in Q3 was recorded as part of the net revenues for Cumulus Media.