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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 13:53 GMT 14:53 UK
Drop in ads hits US radio group
Presenter on Clear Channel-owned radio station
Clear Channel is the largest US radio station group
Clear Channel Communications has blamed a slight fall in profits on its decision to cut back on advertising time on its radio network.

The largest radio chain in the US saw net profits fall to $220.7m (124m) between April and June, down from $254m at the same time last year.

Clear Channel said it had cut back on the number of advertisements as a means to attract more listeners.

It also admitted that the advertising marketplace was generally weaker.

Delayed dividend

Clear Channel's turnover fell from $2.49bn to $2.46bn.

The group also announced a retreat from its previous plan to pay a special $1.6bn dividend related to the recent spin-off of its former live entertainment unit.

Clear Channel said on Tuesday that instead of paying the $3 per share special dividend, it would instead return the money to shareholders in the form of share buybacks, a special dividend, or both.

To help achieve this, the company said it would be increasing its share buyback plans by $692m to $1bn over the next year, and that it planned to pay a special dividend in 2006 instead.

Clear Channel's results came in slightly below Wall Street estimates.

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