HITS Daily Double


Digital revenue was the lone bright spot in iHeartMedia's financial year, growing 26.1% to $474m over the course of 2020. Revenues from podcasting were up 91% over 2019.

Beginning with the current quarter, the company will report financial statements based on three reportable segments: the iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group (all digital assets including podcasting); iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group (broadcast radio, networks and sponsorships and events); and Audio & Media Services Group.

The company expects the digital-audio segment to continue to grow at a higher rate than other segments and will therefore become a larger part of the business.

“These new reportable segments will enable us to strengthen the mission and tighten the focus of both the iHeart Digital Audio Group and the iHeart Multiplatform Group while accelerating our ability to deliver industry-leading products and services to our listeners and advertising partners across all of our platforms,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. “Creating these two business reportable segments will allow us to provide the investment community with increased visibility into the financial results of each segment—enabling them to better appreciate the strong growth and success of our digital businesses, including our industry-leading podcast business, as well as the continued strength of our broadcast radio and marquee events businesses.”

The iHeartMedia Digital Audio Group will be led by Conal Byrne as Chief Executive Officer and Darren Davis as Chief Operating Officer, with Carter Brokaw serving as the President of Digital Revenue and Jessica Jerrick as Executive Vice President of Digital Distribution and Platform Partnerships.

The iHeartMedia Multiplatform Group will be led by Greg Ashlock as Chief Executive Officer and Tim Castelli as Chief Revenue Officer. In addition, Julie Talbott joins this group in her role as President, Premiere Networks; Hartley Adkins will become President of the Markets Group; Jeff Howard remains President of National Sales and Tony Coles President of BIN: Black Information Network.

In 2020 revenue decreased 20% to $2.95b, while broadcast revenue was off 28.1% to $1.6b. EBITDA for the year was $538.7m.

Q4 continued to feel the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the company saw a “significant sequential recovery" from its low point of April 2020. Revenue was down 8.8% year over year to $936m, but digital revenue grew 53% to $172m, led by continued growth in podcasting, which increased by 99.8%.

“Our swift response to the COVID pandemic and our diligent management of expenses throughout the year enabled us to achieve approximately $250m of savings in 2020,” said Rich Bressler, President, COO and CFO of iHeartMedia. “The continued sequential improvement of our Revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow over the past three quarters has us well positioned for continued recovery into 2021, and our commitment to making the majority of the $200m of COVID-19-related savings permanent will further enhance the company’s operating leverage as revenue recovers.”

iHeart's stock closed at $13.61 today; 10 months ago, it was trading at little more than $5 a share.