The troubled automobile industry has been making trouble for dozens of other industries, and broadcasters are certainly charter members of that secondary group. So it may be good news for executives if Congress follows Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and provides up to $25B in low-interest loans. This is not to suggest that they’ll turn right around and plunk the whole wad into some television and radio ads – we doubt that anybody on Capitol Hill will sit still for that for one second, particularly now when they’re trying to monopolize the airwaves themselves with their own cut-rate political ads. But they may well use the cash to retool some truck and SUV lines, putting out some high-mileage vehicles that may actually have a market waiting – justifying a round of media spending to let everybody know they’re out there.
RBR/TVBR observation: Is Mel Karmazin having Capitol Hill lobbying withdrawal symptoms? The precipitous drop in auto ad money hurts all media, but problem is magnified at Sirius XM – the lack of new vehicle sales directly stunts the numbers of new satellite audio subscribers. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear that the Zenmaster’s battle hardened lobby-dwellers are lurking on all corners of the Hill, pushing for as big an auto loan as possible.