Radio One radio revenue slid from $55.5 million to $52.5 million in the third quarter. CEO Alfred Liggins blamed the decrease in the radio division on the markets the company operates in being down, format competitors, and sales underperformance.
“I thought our radio issue was fixed at the end of Q1. It turned for about four months then fell out of bed again for us.” Local was down 4.7% in the quarter while national was off 1.5%. The company also discontinued several NTR events that were losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, so that also played a part in the drop in revenue.
Taking a look at the markets Radio One has stations in, Charlotte, Washington DC, Richmond, and Indianapolis all experienced positive revenue growth. That was offset by declines in Houston and Detroit. Specifically in Houston, iHeartMedia put on an Urban format that has been competing with Radio One for two years now. That continues to affect the revenue situation in Houston. And, Greater Media did the same in Detroit when it turned its Sports station into a Classic Hip Hop station. In Philadelphia, Liggins says his stations are throwing off $1 million dollars in cash-flow. “That’s ridiculous. We could be doing that with brokered time. It should be more than that.” Liggins says the company has been unable to get the product right in that market and it’s had sales issues for years.
Liggins said, “We’re in a bad set of markets. Our markets are down.” And, he added, “We’re trying to correct our underperformance. We’ve got to work harder. It’s not an excuse.”
Q3 results for the entire company, including radio, events, TV, and digital declined 4.3% from $115.9 million in 2015 to $110.9 million in Q3 of 2016.