After looking at the October numbers, CL King analyst Jim Boyle noted that you have to go back to 1954 to find a year when radio’s revenue trend was similar to what we’ve seen in 2008. Eisenhower was President and “The Lone Ranger” closed out its run on radio. Ominously, he notes that, “It was three years before radio revived its advertising growth to be comparable or better than total domestic ad revenue growth.”
October was discouraging, Boyle said. Even with some help from political advertising in some markets, local was down 10%, national down12% and network (still up year-to-date) down 3%. And he notes that even off-air revenues were up only 5%, not the double-digit gain seen in many other months.
“October was the 18th consecutive negative year-over-year revenue month and 2008 is the eighth straight struggling year. If the recession lasts for all of 2009 and the weakness persists in many of the major radio ad categories, such as auto, to a point where spending severely plunges, then it may be 2010 or beyond before radio revives,” Boyle said in his latest note to clients.