Clear Channel, Westwood Profits Fall


The sluggish ad market is hurting the bottom line at two radio giants -- Clear Channel Communications Inc. and Westwood One Inc.

Clear Channel said early Friday that third-quarter profit tumbled 59 percent from a year earlier to $261 million. In addition to general ad market sluggishness, among other possible factors in the downturn were the sale of its Spanish-language broadcasting business and dumping highly rated shock jock Howard Stern in six markets.
Radio revenues fell by $3.6 million from a year earlier to $960 million. It blamed declines in national ads from carmakers and phone companies.

The company cut its 2004 profit forecast. It now expects EPS to rise “in the mid to high teens” on a percentage basis. Just three months ago it was promising that the jump would be in the high teens to low twenties.

Westwood One’s third-quarter profit fell to 24 cents, a nickel short of what financial analysts were expecting. Westwood CEO Shane Coppola blamed "an inconsistent overall advertising marketplace.”