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Audacy Posts Big Operating Loss in Q3

The company said it continues to hold “constructive conversations” with lenders

David Field

Audacy lost money again in the third quarter, quite a lot in fact — more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

Its operating loss for the three months was $281.7 million, compared to a loss of $151.9 million a year ago and almost as much as its net revenue for the quarter.

This extends a negative trend; in Q2 of this year the company posted an operating loss of $135.3 million, and in Q1 it lost $12.2 million.

In the quarter, Audacy reported a drop in net revenues to $299.2 million, down 5.6% compared to the same quarter of 2022. Local spot revenues were down 3%, national spot was down 15% and network advertising revenues were down 5%. Digital was up 3% to $64.8 million. (Competitor iHeartMedia also released financial numbers, including a decline in revenue; read that story.)

Audacy again did not hold a conference call for financial analysts. Had it done so, questions about its ongoing debt challenges would certainly have been part of the conversation.

The company is attempting to restructure $1.9 billion in debt and skipped an interest payment in October, according to financial news reports.

Audacy addressed it in a press release: “As noted in our recent public filings, we remain in constructive conversations with our lenders to recapitalize the company’s balance sheet to establish a strong financial footing and position the company to capitalize effectively on our growth opportunities.”

It said that “notwithstanding current challenges,” the company “has established a strong position as a scaled, leading multi-platform audio content and entertainment company distinguished by our exclusive premium content and top positions across the country’s largest markets.”

Audacy recently was unsuccessful at stopping the New York Stock Exchange from delisting its common stock.

In his statement about the Q3 report, David Field, its chairman, president and CEO, cited challenging ad conditions, particularly for national business.

“We gained revenue share in the quarter, most significantly in radio, in which we have achieved accelerating share growth since the start of the year. We also delivered solid gains in radio ratings share and digital audience metrics while making important progress on our tech roadmap and meaningful expense savings to improve our current and future business model.”

The company expects Q4 total revenues to decline by high single digits.

Audacy is one of the biggest U.S. radio owners, with about 230 stations in 46 markets.