Two notable broadcast owners issued financial updates.
Beasley Broadcast Group said revenue in the first quarter increased 5.5%, or $1.2 million, compared to the same period last year, with increases in nine of its 11 market clusters. Its operating income jumped more than 48% thanks to several factors including the loss of sports programming rights in Miami-Fort Lauderdale (thus saving money). “Same-station” revenue was up 6%.
Chairman George Beasley said the numbers reflect “the improved industry environment and the strength of our stations and ratings in their markets.” He said this was the fourth consecutive quarter of same-station revenue growth and fifth consecutive quarter of “solid SOI and margin gains.”
He commended the company for streamlining its operating and cost structure and said Beasley continues to aim to reduce debt, interest expense and leverage ratio. Its bank debt fell to $138.8 million from $142 million three months earlier. “We ended the first quarter with the company’s lowest leverage ratio since mid-2006 and expect to continue using cash from operations to further lower debt.”
Separately, broadcast group owner Radio One said it expects revenue to increase about 10% in the first quarter.
Radio One issued preliminary financial results, showing expected net revenue of $65 million in the first three months of the year. However, the size of its predicted net loss also increased, from an earlier prediction of 37 to 39 cents per share, to a revised $1.22–$1.24 per share. It blamed an increase in deferred tax liabilities having to do with amortization of some of its radio licenses.
Radio One holds net operating losses of approximately $548 million. The company also said it has increased its investment in network channel TV One; it is now the majority shareholder in that entity.