In Death of WCW, R.D. and Alvarez claim that, in 2001, WCW lost $62 million.
When Russo had R.D. on his show, he asked him to, essentially, itemize how they came to $62 million and what proof they had. R.D. didn't really have an answer outside of, “that's what Meltzer said.”
Have you ever heard, exactly, how they got to $62 million?
Well, AOL/TW is/was a publicly traded company so I can't imagine it would have been too hard for someone like Dave to source the losses. As I understand it, it was a combination of the ridiculous payroll combined with the huge costs of producing Nitro and Thunder every week combined with losing advertising revenue as ratings fell. In particular, when Russo dropped the third hour of Nitro, they lost a GIANT chunk of advertising that had been helping to offset costs, and they had nothing to balance it off. Once they had gone to 3 hours of Nitro, they were unable to squeeze the toothpaste back into that tube, which is the same reason why RAW remains 3 hours today even with freefalling results in the third hour all the time.