Ups and downs for Canuck broadcasters

Chum's earnings up 135%; Corus slips due to debts

Canuck broadcaster Chum reported a boffo second quarter, with earnings up 135% to C$5.9 million ($5.1 million), while rival Corus Entertainment posted a loss due to debt refinancing in spite of a positive quarter.

Toronto-based Corus’ loss of $57.1 million for the quarter ended Feb. 28, compared to income of $11.2 million the same quarter a year ago, was the result of $61.4 million in debt incurred to retire high-yield notes.

President-CEO John Cassaday said the refinancing will save about $17 million to $22 million per year in interest.

Revenue was up 6% to $142.9 million for its three divisions — TV, radio and content. However, content division revenue fell 19% to $14.8 million because it made fewer shows and merchandising revs slid for “Beyblade.”

Revenue for the quarter at Toronto-based Chum, which owns and operates 33 radio stations and 33 TV stations, was up almost 8% to $132.4 million.

TV revenue climbed 8.3% to $103.2 million, with specialty ad revs up 4%, subscriber revs up 8.6% and conventional ad revs up a boffo 12.8%. Radio revenue climbed 7.6% to $27.1 million. An 8.1% drop to $2.3 million in the category deemed “other,” which includes Chum’s environmental music distribution division, was attributed to severance costs.