Fitch Publishes US Media & Entertainment Stats Quarterly

NEW YORK – Fitch Ratings has published its ‘Media & Entertainment Stats Quarterly – Third Quarter 2009‘ report. This report lays out financial trends, outlines key strengths and weaknesses and summarizes the liquidity position for companies in Fitch’s media and entertainment coverage.

Several investment-grade-rated (IG) and high yield-rated (HY) companies have successfully issued new debt/amended credit facilities in 2009 in order to address 2009, 2010, and 2011 maturities. Fourth quarter 2009 market activity by Belo, CBS, and Thomson Reuters has been reflected in the report.

As discussed in Fitch’s U.S. Media sector outlook, issued on Dec. 3, 2009, despite expectations for a soft macroeconomic environment, Fitch’s credit outlook for the Media & Entertainment sector for 2010 is stable. Fitch believes the worst of the advertising downturn has passed, but the risk of a double-dip recession remains present going into 2010. With political and Olympic ads tightening available ad inventory, Fitch expects ad pricing to stabilize (flat to plus/minus low single digits) in 2010 against weak prior-year comparable periods.

Fitch believes that some mediums will be left behind even in an ad recovery. Fitch expects print mediums, namely newspapers, yellow pages and consumer magazines, to be down again off very easy comparable periods due to permanent shifts in advertiser sentiment and excess ad inventory that will plague the industry for years to come. Radio is likely to be flat to down slightly; and outdoor, which typically lags, should begin a slow recovery later in the year. Broadcast TV will be an early beneficiary of increased ad demand with cable nets and large market TV broadcast affiliates also poised to participate in a potentially modest rebound.

The ‘Media & Entertainment Stats Quarterly – Third Quarter 2009‘ report and both the U.S. Media Outlook press release, dated Dec. 3, 2009 and the ‘Credit Encyclo-Media Volume II: Fitch’s Comprehensive Analysis of the U.S. Media & Entertainment Sector’, dated Sept. 16, 2009 are available on the Fitch’s web site at ‘’.

Additional information is available at ‘’.