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Audacy Cites “Improving Results” in First Quarter of 2024

Field says it will emerge from Chapter 11 with "best in class" balance sheet

Audacy expressed satisfaction with its latest financial results. The company reported net revenues in the first quarter up 1% compared to the period a year earlier, with radio revenues down 2% and digital up 10%.

But it called attention to its adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. It quoted Chairman David Field: “Audacy delivered a solid start to 2024 with Q1 EBITDA increasing 173% vs the prior year. Second-quarter revenues are currently pacing up low-single digits, and we expect another quarter of substantial EBITDA growth, enhanced by our continuing work on expense reductions.”

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $9.6 million, compared to $3.5 million in the first quarter of 2023.

Field said its “improving results” are mostly attributable to “a significant acceleration in digital revenue growth, continuing meaningful revenue share gains, and declining expenses as our transformational investments bear fruit.”

The company is waiting on FCC approval of its pre-packaged Chapter 11 reorganization, with Field referring to “our best-in-class balance sheet,” among other assets.

On the technology side, Field said Audacy continues to invest in modernizing its Ad Tech Platform “to drive sales efficiencies in support of our digital business.” He noted that the company had announced a partnership with Super Hi-Fi “to upgrade our 700 digital Exclusive Stations and streamline our programming, production and broadcasting capabilities,” and another partnership with AI company ElevenLabs “to enhance our production processes, freeing up our creators to focus on building the exceptional content and experiences they expect from Audacy.”

He also noted the launch of Audacy Podcasts, retiring Cadence13 and 2400Sports as standalone brands while retaining Pineapple Street Studios as its production studio; and the creation of Audacy Sports, which consolidated its broadcast, digital and podcast sports assets under one name.

The company reorganization, once final, will bring a new Audacy board including the banks that cooperated to reduce Audacy’s $1.9 billion debt down by nearly 80% to $350 million. Soros Fund Management will become the broadcaster’s largest shareholder.