by David Friend, The Canadian Press April 9 2015
The Toronto-based company is putting more emphasis on its recently launched adult contemporary brand called Fresh FM, which borrows from the same female-centric business model that gave new life to its specialty channels years ago.
“We are confident that, by expanding the hot adult contemporary format, we can build a highly successful women-targeted radio network,” president and CEO Doug Murphy told analysts on a conference call Thursday.
Another Fresh FM station will launch “in the coming months,” Murphy said, playing mainstream pop hits from singers like Bruno Mars, Pink and Rihanna.
Corus is trying to weather unenthusiastic spending by advertisers that has deeply cut into financial results.
On Thursday, the company reported it suffered an $86.8-million net loss in its second quarter, mostly due to a total of $130 million in writedowns on the value of goodwill — an asset related to past acquisitions — and its radio licences.
But restrained spending also hurt the overall results as companies remain cautious about their ad budgets.
“At this moment, what we can say with complete certainty is there’s a lot of uncertainty out there,” Murphy said.
“Business is coming in late. It comes like in big chunks but it’s not pacing in the way we would like to see, so we’re taking a cautious stance.”
Corus (TSX:CJR.B) has one of Canada’s largest collections of specialty television channels like YTV and HBO Canada, and a lineup of radio stations across much of the country.
The company said it won’t meet one of the targets provided to investors in November, when it expected advertising demand would improve.
Overall revenue in the quarter ended Feb. 28 was about the same as a year ago, at $191.5 million, with its television operations propping up weakness in radio revenues, which fell seven per cent to $36.3 million.
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