The Bush administration's war drums are having an evident effect, but on
American advertisers rather than Iraqi generals.
Despite a "blowout" fourth quarter, radio giant Clear Channel Communications
Inc. cautioned that growth during the current quarter could be somewhat less than
expected as advertisers pause amid the war warnings.
President Mark Mays said first-quarter sales "started very, very strong;
as the war rhetoric started to increase over the past two or three weeks, we
have simultaneously seen advertisers start to sit on their hands and being very
cautious about when the war will start. Therefore, they have slowed down placing
business for late February and early March."
Mays added, however, that second-quarter sales seem to be on track.
Fourth-quarter radio revenues increased 9 percent, but cash flow zoomed 42
percent, fueled by continuing cost cuts.