12-31-09 | Printable Version

Radio and Broadcast TV Sink Too

The newspaper industry wasn't alone in having a dismal 2009. Local broadcast television and radio stations lost about a fifth of their revenue compared with 2008 - a little better than local newspapers’ performance but still stomach-churning.

Radio stations are expected to post a 19% decline in revenue in 2009, principally from the effects of the economy and shifting media spending, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Local broadcast television, meanwhile, is looking at a slide of 22.4%, bringing revenue down to the levels of the mid-1990s, BIA/Kelsey reports.

Based on our analysis, DV&M projects newspaper ad revenue was down by 25.8% in 2009, with total revenue (advertising and circulation) falling by 21.7%. This will bring the industry’s ad revenue down to $28.1 billion, a level last seen in 1987 (when ad revenue grew by 9.0%).

All three of these locally oriented media were punished by the recession, as well as being impacted by secular shifts to online and other emerging advertising platforms.

BIA/Kelsey sees some slight improvement coming in 2010 for television and radio.

Radio should benefit from mobile and online revenue increases in 2010, with revenue rising a modest 1.5%, says BIA/Kelsey’s Mark Fratrik. TV will get a boost from local elections in 2010. Fratrik sees a 3.2% increase for local television revenue this year.

Newspapers may not be so fortunate. Most analysts predict another down year in 2010, with ad revenue falling 5% to 10%. Circulation revenue may stabilize, however, as publishers push through price increases.

Respected newspaper analyst John Janedis moved the public markets positively in December when he revised his outlook for Gannett’s 2010 newspaper ad revenue from -12.1% to -8.5%. It’s all in your perspective.