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Clear Channel Radio Q2 Revenues Up 4%

Mostly driven by higher ad rates for digital radio services, the company reported

CC Media Holdings, parent of Clear Channel Communications, says its revenues grew 8% — to $1.6 billion — in the second quarter. That compares to $1.49 billion in the same period a year ago. The company cites “a gradually improving global advertising environment” for growth across its divisions.

Wells Fargo financial analyst Marci Ryvicker said in a note to clients that the Clear Channel results “were better than expected.”

Radio revenue increased $32 million or 4% in the quarter, to about $781 million, mostly driven by a $28 million increase related to the acquisition of Westwood One’s traffic business in April. The big broadcaster said higher ad rates for digital radio services produced a $4 million revenue increase. “Digital radio services” in this case means primarily online advertising.

Local and national advertising were relatively flat. Increases across advertising categories such as financial services and food and beverage were offset by decreases in other categories, including auto and political.

Overall operating expenses in the radio division increased $36 million in the quarter, $23 million of that related to the Westwood One traffic acquisition, increases related to digital initiatives and “adjustments of approximately $7 million related to prior periods,” according to the broadcaster.

Radio division OIBDAN — operating income before depreciation & amortization — declined 1% to $309 million in Q2.

CC Media Holdings says overall it had smaller expense increases coupled with higher revenues in Q2, so its OIBDAN grew 10%, to $503 million, compared to the same period a year ago. Clear Channel said its consolidated net loss in the quarter improved to $38 million, compared to a loss of $77 million for the same period in 2010.