Radio hopes for political windfall this year


Happy New Year 2008! With major ad sectors such as automotive still soft, broadcasters can at least prepare to count the money from what promises to be a political showdown where ad expenditures will easily break past records.

Analyst Victor Miller and his Bear Stearns associate Tracy Young some time ago projected that political ad spending for the 2007-2008 cycle will total 2.5 billion bucks. Of course, the overwhelming bulk of that will go to television, but the Bear Stearns analysts estimate that radio will claim 275 million in 2008, an increase of about 22% from 2006. Some groups will see substantial dollars. Miller and Young figure Beasley, Cox Radio, Entercom and Radio One will see the most political activity because of the markets where their stations are located.

Beasley, they note, gets 50.5% of its company revenues from “hot” political markets in Pennsylvania and Florida. Cox Radio gets 35%of its revenues from Florida. Entercom gets 34% of its revenues from a wide swath of states that have hot contests this year: Washington, Colorado, Missouri, Oregon, Virginia and North Carolina. Radio One gets 24% of its revenues from Pennsylvania, Florida (although it recently sold its lone Miami station), Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina.

2006 Political Revenues ($ in millions)


Est. ’06 Political Rev.

% of Total Rev.

Cumulus Media



Citadel Broadcasting



Radio One



Clear Channel






Cox Radio



Source: Bear Stearns & Co.