Clear Channel shows outdoor's strength

04 March 2009

SAN ANTONIO: CC Media Holdings, the owner of radio and outdoor advertising group Clear Channel, posted a loss of $4.6 billion (€3.7bn; £3.3bn) last year, but out-of-home revenues remained relatively solid despite the advertising slowdown.

WARC predicts outdoor will be one of the more stable media formats this year, growing by 1.5% in the US and 2.5% in the UK in real terms, both boosted by growth through digital formats.

As previously reported, CBS saw its out-of-home income fall by 1% overall to $2.17bn, with a decline in the US being offset by international growth.

Similarly, Clear Channel's outdoor sales were flat at $3.2bn, with its North American operations posting a decline of just $54.8 million, all in the last quarter.

Its international out-of-home revenues also rose by $62.3m, with declines in the UK and France balanced by markets including China and Turkey, which "benefited from strong advertising environments."

Clear Channel's total revenues, however, fell by 3% to $6.7bn, and CC Media's ceo Mark P. Mays said the current climate reflected "challenging times which have taken their toll on many of our advertisers."

Radio revenues also fell $264.7m to $3.3bn, a decline attributed to an "overall weakness in advertising", a description particularly applicable to the automotive, retail and entertainment categories.

The company was also subject to a combined $5.3bn in impairment charges on its licences and permits and a reduction in goodwill.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff