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The Business of Radio

 by Tom Gordon & Jeff McKay


July 16, 2018 


Politics is good business for radio – a report in PQ Media says that thanks to the mid-term elections for Congress, radio is expected to generate over $470 million in political advertising this year, which would top revenue from the 2016 election year.  Could someone be kicking the tires at iHeart Media – the Wall Street Journal says Liberty Media, which owns Sirius XM might up the ante after their low ball offer was rejected for a minority stake in radio’s biggest station owner which remains in Chapter 11 reorganization.   Last week Emmis rewarded co-founder/CEO Jeff Smulyan  with a new contract – this week the news was not so good as quarterly revenues for the radio division dropped from $38.77 million to $26.4 million.  Revenue was down North-of-the-border for private radio stations – a survey by Statistics Canada found in 2017 private radio suffered a decrease in revenue by 1.9%, with local radio sales leading the drop.  Brooklyn, New York may be ground zero for illegal radio stations – a story by a New York writer found what the FCC has been up against, with as many as 33 illegal radio stations operating in that one borough alone, many of which block out established radio signals in the area. 

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