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Audacy Says Its Podcast Business’ Value Keeps Climbing.

Audacy, the parent of Audacy Podcasts, Pineapple Street Studios, and Podcorn, is closing the books on 2023 with a drop in revenue. Full year 2023 revenue at Audacy declined 6.7% to $1.17 billion from $1.25 billion in 2022, the company says in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Audacy attributed the year-over-year revenue decline to a “decrease in advertising spending in our spot and network revenue streams affected by the current macroeconomic conditions.”

The company did not release podcast-specific revenue for 2023, but the filing pointed to growth as it assessed the value of the business unit. “We determined that the fair value of our podcast reporting unit was greater than the carrying value,” it told investors. That was the opposite of its radio business. Like many radio broadcasters, Audacy recorded a large impairment charge, mostly due to a lower valuation on its station licenses. The company reported a $1.29 billion loss from impairment assessments on its FCC licenses; a $14.1 million impairment loss from terminating some of its leases early; and a $1.5 million impairment loss related to investments the company made in privately held companies in which it owns a minority interest. 

Audacy is awaiting FCC approval for its financial reorganization plan. As the bankruptcy process plays out, corporate general and administrative expenses shot up 40.6% last year from fees and expenses Audacy incurred in hiring outside firms to help manage its ongoing debt restructuring actions. 

Audacy’s net loss widened to $1.14 billion in 2023 compared to a loss of $140.7 million in 2022. 

The company’s financial outlook is much improved for 2024, however. In mid-March, it reported a “strong start to 2024” with “significant sequential acceleration” in several financial metrics. Audacy said in its financial outlook for Q1 2024 that its revenue grew 1% in January, with radio revenues up 1% and digital revenues climbing 7%, as it grew both radio and total revenue market share during the first month of the year. First quarter revenues were pacing up 1%, which the company said represents “strong sequential core same-station revenue acceleration of approximately 6% over Q4.” Second quarter revenues, as of March 12, were pacing up mid-single digits.

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