Beasley Media Group’s fourth quarter 2020 revenue of $68.5 million was down 5% ($3.6 million) from Q4 2019. And that’s good news when compared to 2020’s third quarter which was down 25% and 2nd quarter, down over 50%.
Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley said political revenue in Q4 came in 3X higher than expected. “Record fourth quarter net political revenue of $10.2 million, combined with the resumption of advertising in key categories, drove year-over-year revenue increases in six of our station clusters. Excluding political revenue, Beasley continued to generate sequential month-over-month revenue growth, with October up 8.3% over September and November up 2.0% over October, while December paced slightly behind November due to a tightening of COVID-19 restrictions in certain markets.”
Beasley added that one less new England Patriot football game also contributed to December’s revenue slowdown. Local revenue was down over 20% in Q4, while national was up 4.5% thanks to political. Q1 2021 is pacing down 18%. While the pandemic didn’t hit radio hard until March of 2020, January and February started out very strong for ad revenue before it hit the wall.
The company also reported that listenership is back to 90% of what it was before the pandemic hit. And, the company is hoping to get back to putting on live events at the end of 2021, which made up 5% of revenue before COVID.
Fourth quarter digital revenue rose 7.6% year-over-year to $7.3 million and accounted for approximately 10.6% of total fourth quarter revenue, compared to 9.2% of total revenue in the prior year period.