COVID Clobbers Urban One


While the Q2 revenue numbers presented by Urban One CEO Alfred Liggins Thursday were expected, they were still shocking to hear. An overall revenue decline of 37.5%, local radio down 61.2%, national down 49%. The days of grumbling over a 1% increase or decrease in revenue seem so far away.

CFO Peter Thompson dug deeper into the quarter and shared the damage COVID-19 did to some of the categories. Entertainment was down 90%, Food & Beverage dropped 83%, Auto was off 71% and Telecom dropped 68%.

Reach Media also took a big hit due to the cancellation of the Tom Joyner Cruise. The network was off 66%.

But enough bad news.

Liggins said April was the bottom and things are improving heading into Q3. The MGM Grand Casino that Urban One has an investment with is back open, operating at 50%, and the company should see some revenue soon from the Casino. Q4 will see a bit of a lift with 2020 being such a heavy political season. Liggins said the company has had conversations with the Biden camp. He’s very encouraged and hopeful about their need to reach the Urban One audience.

Operating expenses declined in the quarter by nearly $40 million. $7 million of that savings came from layoffs, furloughs and temporary pay cuts.


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