Ads buoy Westwood One

Co. up 5% from second quarter in 2003 to $139.6 mil in net revs

Radio and TV programming provider Westwood One bucked worries about an advertising slowdown in the second quarter, reporting an 8% increase in national ad revenue and a 3% bump for local and regional ads.

News came a month after investment banks downgraded Westwood and five other top radio stocks based on concerns that consumers were being alienated because they ran too many ads each hour. (Daily Variety, June 18)

Company, which produces more than 150 news and entertainment programs, reported $139.6 million in net revenue, up 5% from the second quarter in 2003. Net income was $25.1 million, up 3%.

Despite the slight bump in second quarter earnings, it’s been a disappointing year for Westwood One investors, with its shares down 34% since the beginning of the year amid concerns over slowdowns in the radio market.

Company reiterated its vague guidance for the full year 2004, saying revenue will grow in the mid-single digits and predicting double digitgrowth for operating income before depreciation and amortization.

Shares in Westwood One closed up 1% at $23 Wednesday.

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