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Cumulus Posts Q1 Net Loss and Revenue Decline

Revenue for the first three months of 2023 was off 11% year to year

Cumulus Media said its revenue declined by around 11% in the first quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier.

It posted a net loss of $21.5 million in those three months, while its adjusted EBITDA of $10.3 million was down substantially from a year ago.

The company continues to carry a large debt burden, with reported total debt of $713.1 million and net debt of $594.2 million, although it said these are at their lowest levels in more than a decade.

President/CEO Mary Berner cited “difficult national market trends,” an adverse business environment and unfavorable political comparisons. But she also sought to highlight accomplishments through the COVID years.

“We have had best-in-class performance in terms of fixed cost reduction, Adjusted EBITDA margin recovery, Adjusted EBITDA to free cash flow conversion and net debt reduction. With our current liquidity profile and solid balance sheet, we believe that we are not only well-positioned to weather the current storm but will rebound strongly when the market eventually recovers.”

Cumulus said it grew digital marketing services revenue by about 23%, completed the sale of the former WFAS(FM) in New York, and continued to repurchase shares and retire debt at a discount.

It also continues to cut outlays, saying it has “now executed $10 million of additional annualized cost reductions.”

Its total net revenue for the first three months of the year was $205.7 million, down 11% year over year. Digital revenue is 16% of its total.

The company owns 404 radio stations in 85 markets and provides content to 9,400 affiliates through its Westwood One audio network. It also owns the Cumulus Podcast Network.