Q1 Transaction Volume Indicates
Operators Looking for Strategic Acquisitions

CHANTILLY, Va.--The radio industry will begin to see slight broadcast advertising revenue increases in 2010, after several years of negative revenue changes and a very difficult 2009, according to BIA/Kelsey, advisers to companies in the local media space. BIA/Kelsey’s first edition of its quarterly Investing In Radio® Market Report shows that 2009 closed with $13.7 billion in revenues for radio from broadcast and online sources, a decline of -18.4 percent from 2008. The company predicts industry revenues to hit $13.9 billion this year, an increase of 1.5 percent, but more importantly, the start of 2-4 percent annual growth rate over the next few years, including a predicted 16.5 percent compound growth rate from web and other online revenues.

“A lack of debt financing has been hampering the industry but we expect a modest rebound to begin in the early part of the second half of the year”

“While the poor economy held it down momentarily, radio is coming back to demonstrate that it is an important advertising vehicle, particularly in local media markets,” said Mark R. Fratrik, Ph.D., Vice President, BIA/Kelsey. “The industry will continue to grow its online revenues in 2010 as increasingly more progressive radio groups recognize they are more than just over-the-air transmitters and begin to integrate cross-platform promotions with their broadcast and web operations.”

Dr. Fratrik also noted that the full year 2009 saw a continued slow pace in station transactions, with only $400 million in total value of radio stations that were sold. The pace of acquisitions should increase in 2010 as operators will be attempting to get additional properties that offer efficiencies of scale to their operations.

“A lack of debt financing has been hampering the industry but we expect a modest rebound to begin in the early part of the second half of the year,” Fratrik said.

A chart representing BIA/Kelsey’s five-year forecast for the radio industry is available at http://www.bia.com/pr100324-IIRadio1.asp.

This slightly optimistic forecast is encouraging the radio industry to explore unique ways to improve revenues. However, this still relies on its ability to embrace maturing mobile and online vehicles and learning how to coexist with new and developing technologies.

Digital Strategies for Broadcasting 2010

For a second year BIA/Kelsey will hold Digital Strategies for Broadcasting 2010 (formerly Winning Media Strategies) from May 17-19 in Jersey City, NJ (across from Manhattan Island). DSB will focus on the hundreds of millions of dollars that broadcasters are poised to earn from the digital services that are transforming the industry, with a particular emphasis on web sites, mobile apps, HD Radio, emerging technologies, integrated platforms, and Internet radio.

“This can be a very transformative year for radio broadcasters if they leverage their properties with the technologies that their listeners embrace,” said Rick Ducey, chief strategy officer of BIA/Kelsey. “If they can find and maintain compelling niches in the local media ecosystem they will not only increase their audiences but also their revenues. Digital Strategies for Broadcasting is designed as a conversation for what those in broadcasting can do now as well as what they should do to prepare for tomorrow. It will serve as a forum to meet potential new partners and exchange ideas among peers.”

Emmis Communications CEO Jeff Smulyan will keynote DSB on its third day. In addition, more than 30 other speakers are scheduled to present, including Michael Goodman of Mercury Media discussing how consumer and social trends will impact the media business, and a session on what’s working in broadcasting, Internet and mobile, with Flycast CEO Dave Kennedy and Skip Pizzi, a media technology consultant. Other confirmed programs are on reinventing local radio, creating revenues from new platforms, and how to make cross-platform deals and partnerships

Additional details and registration information is available at http://www.kelseygroup.com/dsb2010.

Investing in Radio

A comprehensive profile of each of the 300 Arbitron-rated markets with historic and projected market demographic and financial statistics is available in the first edition of the quarterly Investing In Radio® Market Report and the new 2010 Investing In Radio® Ownership Report published by BIA/Kelsey. Both publications are part of the Investing In financial guide series that includes estimated advertising revenues, technical data, ownership and acquisition information, and more for every market. Information on these publications is available on the BIA/Kelsey website at http://www.bia.com/publications_reference_radio.asp#radio1.

BIA also publishes investment reference guides and provides data services for the television and newspaper industries. For more information, call 800.331.5086 or email info@bia.com.

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