The events of September 11 brought about a sea change in the fortunes of San Antonio-based radio and outdoor giant Clear Channel Communications.

According to chairman/ceo Lowry Mays, from March 2001 the group had seen a progressive month on month improvement in its fiscal performance, signalling a strong third quarter. “But,” reports Mays, “September 11 changed all that. It stopped that momentum in all sectors of our business.”

Consolidated net revenue rose 46% to $2.3 billion from $1.57 billion in the comparable period last year – although on a pro forma basis, net revenue was essentially flat.

Radio, the group’s largest operating unit, fell 8% to $866.1 million compared with $942.3m in 2000. Outdoor, the second-largest division, declined 8.7% to $435.8m in revenue ($477.2m year-on-year).

Chief financial officer Randall Mays was cagey about Q4 prospects, saying only that he expects ‘out of home’ media (radio and outdoor) to return a revenue decrease in the “low double-digit range”.

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