Ascent suffers in downturn

Chris Forrester

Playout and production specialist Ascent Media has reported another loss-making quarter, citing the TV slowdown and lower spending by its broadcasting clients.

Thereís no doubt that broadcasters are tightening their transmission belts. Worse, advertisers are spending less on their publicity budgets. These, as well as a reduction in technology spending generally took Ascent to significantly increased losses. This most recent quarter-year saw losses of $7.2m, compared with $1.5m this same period last year.

However, when one looks at the overall reduction in revenues at Ascent it could have been worse. Q2 revenues totalled just $118.7m, compared with $163.4m this time last year. Ascentís 6th month figures showed a net loss of $13.7m ($6.1m) on revenues of $237.9m ($326.5m).

CEO William Fitzgerald admitted the numbers were disappointing: "In response, we have focused on aggressively controlling operating expenses and have reduced capital spending to minimize the effect on cash flow as we take steps to improve our top line growth," Fitzgerald said.