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iHEART STARTS TO SEE A COVID RECOVERY

iHeartMedia started to see its businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19 in the previous quarter, particularly in digital revenue, which grew 16.5%.

Digital revenue of $113m was driven by podcasting, which increased 73.6% over Q3 2019. Excluding podcasting, digital grew 7.6%. Audio & Media Services revenue increased 25.3% on a reported basis and decreased by 1.8%, excluding the impact of political revenue.

Comparing the 7/1-9/30 period to the previous quarter reveals a comeback for the country’s largest radio company. Broadcast revenue of $404m was up 66% over Q2; Networks revenue was up 24% over Q2 to $119m; and political advertising pushed the Audio & Media Services unit up 91% to $75m over the second quarter of 2020.

“I am pleased that we have seen strong signs of recovery this quarter as we continue to address challenges resulting from the macroeconomic impact of COVID-19,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of iHeartMedia. “We feel our results this quarter are strong validation of our multiplatform product and revenue strategy, our ongoing modernization efforts and the investments we have made in new areas, like podcasting ... We expect further improvement in both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter.”

While revenue was down 21.5% from Q3 2019, the company was able to cut corporate expenses by 40.8%, lower operating expenses by 12.6% and lower Selling, General & Administrative expenses by 10.6%.

Rich Bressler, iHeart’s President, COO and CFO said Adjusted EBITDA of $163m is “proof of our strict cost controls, of our sequentially improving revenue trends, and most importantly, of the company’s strong free cash flow characteristics.”

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