It’s that time of the year when radio’s big publicly traded companies report quarterly earnings.
The biggest, Clear Channel, said radio revenue fell 1% in the third quarter compared to last year, with both local and national revenue off, partly due to the automotive, retail and political categories. Increases were seen in network, traffic, syndicated radio and online revenues.
Clear Channel said it increased its average unit rates over a year ago but total minutes sold declined.
Overall, Clear Channel had revenues of $1.7 billion in the third quarter, up 3% after discounting the movements in foreign exchange.
Looking ahead, as of Nov. 2, Clear Channel said its radio revenues are pacing down 4.7% for the fourth quarter.
CEO Mark Mays said the third quarter’s overall growth was fueled by “another exceptional performance from our outdoor advertising business.” He said radio, while down, outperformed the rest of the industry.
The company still hopes to conclude its merger with the group led by Thomas H. Lee Partners and Bain Capital Partners, which has been approved by shareholders.
Clear Channel is also still trying to divest 220 of its stations in 42 markets.