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CC Media Holdings Posts $4 Billion Loss

Revenue in 2009 fell 17%, though Q4 was off only 6%

Revenue fell 17% at CC Media Holdings in 2009, to $5.6 billion. But its fourth quarter, while still down, was relatively stronger. CC Media Holdings in the parent of Clear Channel Communications.

President/CEO Mark Mays cited “encouraging trends in the global advertising environment” at the end of 2009. But the company posted a loss before discontinued operations of $4 billion, compared to a loss of $4.6 billion for 2008.

The company’s radio broadcasting revenue, its largest business sector, fell 17%, or more than half a billion dollars, compared to the year before, thanks to drop-offs in local and national revenues of $388.5 million and $115.1 million respectively.

“Local and national [radio] revenues were down across markets and advertising categories as a result of an overall weakness in advertising and the economy,” the company reported in its latest financial numbers. “The decline in advertising demand led to declines in total minutes sold and yield per minute in 2009 compared to 2008.” Radio fell 10% in the fourth quarter, it said.

CC Media did succeed in cutting its costs; it reported that “restructuring of its businesses partly in response to the decline in advertising revenues” cut operating expenses for the year to $4 billion, a 14% decrease.

In the fourth quarter, CC Media Holdings had revenues of $1.5 billion, down 6% compared to the same period a year earlier. But it reported: “The fourth quarter decline, as compared to the same period of 2008, was an improvement over larger declines in each of the first three quarters of 2009 when compared to the same periods in 2008.”