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Clear Channel Reports 23% Revenue Drop in Q1

Radio net operating income down 22%

Clear Channel Communications parent CC Media Holdings reported revenue of $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2009. That’s a 23% drop from the $1.6 billion reported for the first quarter of last year.

The company cited “movements in foreign exchange” for $64.5 million of the drop. Excluding that, its revenues would have dropped 19% for the quarter.

Clear Channel reduced operating expenses 12% to approximately $1 billion during the quarter compared to a year ago. Yet losses increased to $428 million in Q1, up from approximately $169.8 million then. The company said revenues dropped and it also faced a rise in approximately $287.1 million in interest expense as a result of taking on more debt.

Clear Channel’s net operating income was $174.2 million in the first quarter, down 56% from this time last year.

The radio division’s net operating income was $603.6 million, down 22%. Radio OIBDAN, another measure of operating income, was $138.1 million, off 50 percent from $273.6 million a year before.

“Our companies performed well on a relative basis in a difficult economic environment and weakened ad market,” stated CC Media Holdings CEO Mark Mays.

President Randall Mays said radio and outdoor remain “incredibly efficient marketing mediums” and that the company’s focus is to “maximize the efficacy of our mediums for the benefit of advertisers.”