Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE:ETM) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 14, 2020 • 10:00 am ET

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Entercom Communications Corp. (NYSE:ETM) Q1 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, and welcome to Entercom's First Quarter 2020 Earnings Release Conference Call. [Operator instructions] This conference is being recorded.

I would like to introduce your first speaker for today's call, Mr. Richard Schmaeling, CFO and executive vice president. Sir, you may begin.

Executive
Richard Schmaeling

Thank you, Missy, and welcome to Entercom's first quarter earnings conference call. A replay of this call will be available on our company website shortly after conclusion of today's call and available by telephone at the replay number noted in our release. During this call, the company may make forward-looking statements, which are based upon the company's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties.

The company's actual results could differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are described in the Risk Factors section of the company's annual report on Form 10-K.

As such, risks and uncertainties may be updated from time to time in the company's SEC filings. We assume no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law. During this call, we may reference certain non-GAAP financial measures. We refer you to the Investors page of our website at entercom.com for reconciliations of such measures and other pro forma financial information.

I'll turn it over to you, David.

Executive
David Field

Great. Thanks, Rich, and good morning, everybody. Thanks for joining Entercom's first quarter 2020 earnings call. I want to start by saluting the Entercom team for their outstanding work and all they are doing to rise to the unique challenges of these unprecedented times and serve the American public, our customers and our communities. COVID-19 has taken its toll on our business as it has such a large swath of the American economy.

We ended the year with a great deal of optimism and high expectations coming off a solid 2019 during which we posted 2% revenue growth, 3% ex political and 10% EBITDA growth. We got off to a strong start to the year, and we're gaining momentum across our business lines. Through February, year-to-date revenues were up over 7% versus prior year, with significant margin expansion and strong double-digit EBITDA gains.

While we are on track to have a great quarter, in March, revenues declined 22% for the month as we experienced a large number of cancellations across our business related to the pandemic. As a result, Q1 revenues declined 4%, and EBITDA was down 19%. Local spot advertising and events were both down significantly, reflecting the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and the cancellation of most of our March event slate.

There were, however, a number of bright lights for the quarter, including our digital revenues, which grew by 41% year over year, led by strong podcasting and streaming audio advertising growth as well as continued strong double-digit Entercom Audio Network growth. We also saw healthy political advertising demand in the quarter. On today's call, I want to first discuss how COVID-19 has impacted our business,