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Citadel Posts Loss; Suspends Earnings Reports

Citadel Broadcasting’s first quarter financial report for 2009 looks no better than Regent’s — the company posted a 22.9% decrease in revenue compared to last year, and it declared that it will not be offering quarterly earnings calls or earnings-related press releases at all this year.

There wasn’t even a plain English press release for the first quarter’s earnings — the only way to break down the numbers is to wade through the long and wordy Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on Friday.  As noted by Radio & Records, the company waited until after the markets closed Friday to file that report — there was no formal earnings conference call.

The only news release issued by the company was just one-sentence long, stating Citadel “has discontinued holding quarterly earnings calls and will no longer issue quarterly earnings releases through at least the end of 2009.”

According to the federally-mandated Form 10-Q, Citadel, like Regent, blamed the “industry-wide decline in radio advertising” on the “current economic environment.”  Citadel went a step further, predicting that “net revenue will continue to decline in the remaining quarters of 2009 as compared to the same quarters in the prior year.”

The report also noted the company may not have enough cash on hand to satisfy upcoming debt payments — including a $150 million payment due early in 2010 — a situation that could put the company in default.

Citadel stock, which was dropped from the NASDAQ in March, stood at 12 cents a share in over-the-counter trading as of Friday’s close of business.

The company owns four stations in the Syracuse market, including CHR 93Q (WNTQ), rocker 95X (WAQX), AC Lite Rock 105.9 (WLTI) and ESPN Radio 1260 (WNSS).  The company also owns the former ABC Radio Networks, which it recently rebranded as “Citadel Media.”

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