More red ink in radio's near future?


That’s what CL King analyst Jim Boyle thinks. He’s expecting the industry as a whole to lose 1% for the month of July compared to July 2006 results, which will come as a disappointment for those who were looking for flat results for the month. He also notes that the best things are coming in small packages. Boyle said he’s seen July numbers for about 50 markets, and noted that mid- and small-market results were 1%, in black ink, compared to results for markets 1-25 of 1%, but with red ink. "Apparently, it is better to be in Albuquerque than Atlanta or run stations in Springfield than San Francisco for top-line growth prospects, according to the market data," he said. He said that it’s good news for groups like Saga, that operate outside the upper echelon of markets. Boyle noted that the Wall Street expectation of a par performance in July will apparently be defeated with a -1% final tally. Looking back at Q2, he said the big-market/small market dichotomy was even more pronounced than it appears to be now. Large markets were down 1%, but mid-markets were up 2% and small markets were up 4%. He also notes that prominent radio groups have been outperforming the industry as a whole, that prominent radio groups are expecting to lose 1% Q3, so therefore it stands to reason that Q3 may be down 2% overall.

RBR observation: Large market people are just sitting out there in their cars, stuck in traffic twice a day for one or two hours or more. They’re probably listening to radio, because that’s really the only place to get reliable traffic information, and it’s been our experience that even if traffic is screwed up every day one way or another and there seems to be no escape, we still want to know what caused it to happen this particular day. No other medium can reliably predict that it will have a significant mass audience ready to be tapped into. Maybe radio needs a new promotion to its potential advertiser clients: Helicopter rides. Show them exactly where and how large your audience is and bring them to their senses.