Good News, Bad News Q3 For Urban One


Urban One, the media company formerly known as Radio One, saw a 1.1% revenue increase, to $112.1 million, in Q3.

That’s the lone bit of good news for the media company superserving African American consumers, however, as its net loss widened considerably from the third quarter of 2016.

Urban One’s net loss came in at $7.89 million (17 cents per share), compared to a Q3 2016 net loss of $423,000 (1 cent).

Broadcast and digital operating income was $40.66 million, a decrease of 5.3% from $42.96 million seen in Q3 2016.

Concurrently, adjusted EBITDA for Urban One fell to $33.96 million, from $34.88 million.

Breaking down Urban One’s net revenue, radio advertising slipped by 3%, to $50.88 million, as cable TV advertising associated with its TV One channel was flat, at $20.79 million.

Meanwhile, cable TV affiliate fees rose by 2.9%, to $26.56 million.

The big takeaway for Urban One investors can be summed up in one word: Stabilization.

Urban One President/CEO Alfred Liggins III noted, “Our radio segment core revenues have stabilized, and for the third quarter we outperformed our markets by 130 basis points, according to Miller Kaplan data.”

Additionally, Urban One’s Atlanta, Baltimore and Houston clusters all outperformed their respective markets; Houston was impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Looking ahead to Q4, Liggins says radio division core revenues are pacing up approximately 1%, ex political.

What ails the Radio One arm? “The radio bottom line was adversely impacted by higher royalty expenses, which was the result of a favorable true-up in the prior year plus the additional expense associated with Global Music Rights.”

Meanwhile, cable TV advertising revenues continued to be impacted by soft ratings, although there was a significant sequential improvement from Q2, Liggins noted.

Then, there is Urban One’s investment in the MGM National Harbor casino resort, which produced approximately $1.5 million of adjusted EBITDA and is performing in line with expectations.

Finally, Liggins noted that Urban One reaffirmed its commitment to deleveraging the company by repurchasing $20 million of the company’s 2020 Notes during Q3.