Strong quarter for Clear Channel


Revenues gained 7% to $1.58 billion in Q3 for CC Media Holdings, parent company of Clear Channel Communications. Radio revenues were also up 7% to $798.5 million, including the addition of the Metro Traffic business purchased from Westwood One.

Revenues for Clear Channel Radio were up by $55.4 million, but $40.8 million of that was attributable to Metro, so year-over-year gains for the radio business ere more modest. Radio OIBDAN was flat at $302.6 million.

Operating income for the radio operation was down slightly to $233.4 million from $234.9 million a year ago. Much of the increase in overhead was attributed to Metro and to increased spending for the iHeartRadio Music Festival and other digital initiatives.

On the bottom line, CC Media cut its net loss to $74 million from $155 million in Q3 of 2010.

New CEO Bob Pittman introduced himself to analysts and gave a sales pitch for the opportunity he sees for growth in radio and for Clear Channel in particular. But Pittman indicated that he won’t be speaking regularly on the quarterly conference calls, leaving that to CFO Tom Casey.

Looking at Q4, Casey said radio is currently pacing flat, which would be up 4% if you exclude the political windfall of Q4 in 2010.