SCA boss Grant Blackley singles out 2Day FM following metro radio revenue decline

Former Features Editor

Major talent acquisitions and new national shows for its radio arm weren’t enough to help Southern Cross Austereo in the first half of 2017 financial year, with today’s earnings report revealing a 21.2 percent drop in overall net profit for the broadcaster.

Earnings in the six months to December 31 also dropped to $78.1 million (down 15.7% from $92.6 million a year ago), and total revenue for the business fell by 5.3 percent to $333.3 million.

While SCA’s balance sheet took a hit thanks to the sale of its northern New South Wales TV assets, revenue for metro radio – which makes up just 30 percent of radio earnings – fell 3 percent to $121.4 million.

CEO Grant Blackley says SCA had a concerted debt reduction program that he believes was the highlight of today’s results.

“We’ve paid off about $150 million of debt in the last two years and put our corporate health into a better place. And with that, we naturally knew we were selling earnings.

“Moving forward, that puts us onto a better platform to navigate the future an execute on our strategy.”

Blackley puts the decline in SCA’s metro revenue down to the underperforming 2DayFM Sydney.

“Firstly, it’s not as desirable as we’d like it to be with advertisers,” he told Radio Today.

“Secondly, it does have a resulting impact on national buys – so people either start buying around us, or fundamentally don’t buy as much of us that they normally would.

“If we get Sydney right, we do have an uplift there of some 20 to 25 million in revenue. So we do see it as the biggest opportunity for the company.”

2DayFM finished 2017 with a 3.9 percent share of People 10+ in Survey 8, while the previous Breakfast team of Em Rusciano and Harley Breen declined -0.1 to 2.8 percent, a record low for the station.

The first book of 2018 is due on March 13, the first following another lineup change, including the addition of Ed Kavalee and Grant Denyer.

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24 Feb 2018 - 7:35 am

Debt was down to $324.8 million after selling assets ! Heavy lifting ? Ahh The Fin review says the debt was only reduced from $347 million to $324 million they barely made a dent in it. Thats a lot of debt to be carrying in any language.


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