This has to be considered good news for the industry, especially in light of the strong Q4 Entercom reported and with a very competitive political battle underway for President. As always, the critics will point to iHeart’s $20 billion in debt, and that’s obviously fair, but an up quarter is an up quarter.
For the quarter, iHeartMedia reported an increase in revenue of 5%, or $45 million. Excluding political, that increase was 8%. Local, national, event sponsorships, and network revenue all increased in Q4. Some of the best performing categories for the quarter were automotive, financial services, entertainment, and food and beverage.
iHeartMedia CFO Richard Bressler said he’s very excited about the progress the company made in 2015. “We are meeting and exceeding the expectations of our advertisers and consumers.” And, Bresslar says iHeartmedia continues to outpace the radio market because, “We are bringing new dollars to radio.”
On the Q4 earnings call Thursday, Bressler was very upbeat about the company and radio in general. “TV’s weekly reach continues to decline. Radio remains as stable as ever and has replaced TV as the number one reach medium.” Bressler said iHeartMedia has a strong operating business and, “we are starting to see that in our financial results.”
Looking ahead to Q1, iHeart is pacing up nearly 5%.