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Big radio revenues drop, again

Down down down. Clear Channel and Cumulus’ third quarter earnings dropped 19 and 18.5 percent respectively compared to Q3 of 2008. Clear Channel reported revenues of $660.6 million in the third quarter of 2009 and $813.4 million for the same in 2008.

Cumulus’ net  revenues sank from $80.0 million last year  to $65.1 million this year, “primarily due to the impact the current economic recession has had across our entire station platform and industry at large,” the company explained.

Let’s see, how about  CBS Radio . . . Looks like revenue dropped there too: 318.9 million this Q3, 392.5 last Q3. But CBS CEO Leslie Moonves summed up the release with some happy talk:

“The operating environment for our businesses continues to improve and we are finishing the year with strong momentum. So far this year, each quarter has been better than the one before, with the third quarter showing significant improvement over the second, just as we expected. Going forward, we have many reasons for optimism as we look to 2010.”

It would be more accurate to say that this year each quarter has been progressively less horrible for radio. It’s unclear where the silver lining is to be found. We would be happy to have it pointed out to us.

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