Wells Fargo likes what it sees for media in 2011


Traditional media is expected to hold its own next year, with radio and outdoor making modest gains and television experiencing only a minor decrease during a political off-year. And there should be more on the M&A front.

Wells Fargo crystal ball-gazer Marci Ryvicker said, “In general, we have a positive view of media and telecom heading into 2011, with particular bias for those companies best positioned to take advantage of the Internet Revolution, as well as provide meaningful capital returns.”

Ryvicker said that broadcasters will return to fundamentals, and suggested the focus will be on local, automotive and the generation of cash flow. She also suggested that merger activity would come back after three years of dormancy. She predicted radio will have modest growth of 2%, television will lose only 1% in the off-year of its two-year cycle, and said that the top company will be CBS.

Outdoor is expected to have gains of 6% based on easier comps, and that Lamar will lead the way.
The merger of Comcast and NBCU is increasingly expected to be a go, and the FCC is steering clear of applying Title II regulation to the internet, both of which will make it a good year for MVPDs in general and Comcast in particular.

Ryvicker didn’t supply any numbers in regards to the internet, but said all signs point toward its continued growth with Google in the vanguard.

RBR-TVBR observation: It would be great to take the positive results of 2010 and build. But after the tumult of the past couple of years and the decade in general, traditional media could do a lot worse than adopting the Four Season’s classic line “Let’s hang on to what we’ve got” as a theme for 2011.

RBR-TVBR again says: Engage and learn about today’s internet and build station assets value. We will help and grow together next year with Managers Business Report (MBR).

MBR will be focus on ‘Key Interactive’ reports that are fully focused on the challenges that affect the broadcasters business today.