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iHeartMedia Declares Q4 Profitable

Largest station owner wrestles with debt but looks to be making progress

The country’s largest radio broadcaster continues to wrestle with a huge debt load but did manage to earn a $106 million profit across all divisions in the fourth quarter 2016. That broke a long string of quarterly losses. That net income was for iHeartMedia and its outdoor subsidiaries.

The iHM radio group registered $939.1 million in revenue in the fourth quarter 2016; up $40.1 million or 4.5% from Q4 2015. The bump in income for the quarter was derived from higher politically-related spending thanks to the presidential election and growth in it traffic and weather services, according to iHeartMedia. Its revenue for the year was up to $3.4 billion compared to $3.2 billion in 2015.

The radio and billboard giant lost $296.3 million in 2016. It had company-wide debt of $20.37 billion at the end of 2016, according to financial filings today.

“We continue to take major steps to transform iHeartMedia and outdoor businesses into leading multiplatform media and entertainment company,” said Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia.

Pittman said the broadcaster continues to extend iHeartRadio with new on-demand services and into in-home connectivity devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home.

“iHeartMedia and outdoor are building out our data-rich analytics capabilities and programmatic ad-buying solutions…” Pittman said in a prepared statement.

Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO for iHeartMedia, said on the earnings call this morning, “We continue to drive revenue momentum across the company by investing in new digital technologies, creating innovative new products, focusing on data as a key asset of our businesses, interacting with our advertisers in new ways and aligning our industry leading assets around our most promising opportunities.”