TV, radio, cutbacks boost Chum

Quarterly rev up 3.3% to $132.2 mil

TORONTO — Strong TV and radio markets and some belt-tightening spurred Chum to a 57% increase in its bottom line to C$21.4 million ($17.6 million) in its fiscal first quarter.

Revs for the quarter, ended Nov. 30, climbed 3.3% to $132.2 million. TV revs rose 1.7% to $100 million; radio was up 9.1% to $29.7 million.

In the television division, Chum’s specialty stations led the way with an uptick in ad and subscriber revenue, improving 13% and 8.6%, respectively.

In addition, the company made more efficient use of its programming expenditures, generating $1.4 million in ad revenue for every million dollars in programming expenditure, up from $1.2 million a year ago.

A 7.5% cut in expenses on the TV side to $72.4 million, primarily the result of restructuring in its British Columbia operations, also helped.

Chum owns eight conventional TV stations in Ontario and B.C. as well as 18 specialty channels.

The assets of Craig Media, Chum’s acquisition of which closed in December, will be included in the books as of the second quarter.

Craig has conventional TV stations in Brandon and Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, as well as the digital specialty channels MTV Canada, MTV2 and TV Land Canada.

The company owns and operates 32 radio stations.