Wells Fargo financial stargazer Marci Ryvicker has recently attended events held by the advertising boards for both Radio and TV, and although things remain admittedly slow, she sees reason for optimism.
One big reason is the upcoming political spending season, which figures to follow the trend and break all existing records. “Political in 2012 is going to be HUGE,” she said. “We know that 2012 will be a good political year, but we didn’t realize HOW good it may actually be. 1) There is likely to be a greater number of swing states than we have seen in years past. 2) The entire House is hotly contested. 3) 2011 is a “redistricting” year 4) the Republican nominee is virtually certain not to accept federal funds for the fall campaign.” She added that the primaries offer promise and noted that campaigns seem to be spending earlier than usual.
As for the current situation and immediate past, she said business has been slow and visibility forward poor, with schedules still booked late, but noted that cancellations have not been a problem. She said, “July was “awful,” August was “great,” and September is slow.” October is expected to be down, but a large part of the reason is being comparable to the political spending booked in October 2010.
She said nobody is willing to speak to results in 2012. However, she also noted that radio broadcasters sounded truly optimistic for the first time in quite awhile, suggesting that radio may be a business on the rebound.
Ryvicker noted that automotive was improving gradually, but said that co-op money headed for dealers figures to be a major plus for broadcast groups.
RBR-TVBR observation: When television is really raking in big political bucks, it’s actually good for Radio – as TV time becomes difficult to book, sometimes cash spills into radio coffers. Hopefully when this happens, campaign managers start to discover just what a useful tool radio can be in its campaign armory.
But a strong word of caution: Polictians or should say their teams realize the value of the internet – money will go to internet which means radio is not an automatic buy if local TV is sold out. Just that word of caution.