The Radio Advertising Bureau has reported that during the first six months of 2015 overall radio revenue is down 1%, from 8.331 Billion to $8.231 Billion. Spot revenue took the biggest hit declining 3% from $6.495 Billion for the first half of 2014 to $6.301 this year. Network revenue was down 1%, from $534 Million to $530 Million. The growth of digital revenue has also slowed, only up 2% from $449 Million to $457 Million. From 2013 to 2014 (January to June) digital revenue increased 12%. Off-air revenue for the first six months of 2015 was up 11% from $853 Million to $943 Million. The RAB recently changed how many times per year it reports revenue, from quarterly to bi-annually.
The good news for radio is there are about two dozen Republicans fighting for the presidential nomination. That should translate to decent political revenue during the back half of 2015. And the radio industry is going to need that if it hopes to finish 2015 flat, according to RAB revenue figures. LET'S CHECK OUT THE NUMBERS...
Automotive continues to be radio's best friend. Auto dealers, dealer groups, and manufacturers were the number one category for radio during the first half of 2015. And they increased their spending by 4 percent. Professional Services was radio's second-best category with an increase in spending of 8 percent. Health Care came in third during the first six months of 2015, increasing what they spend on radio by 4 percent. Radio's fourth-best category, Financial Services, was flat during the first half and the cellular, communications, and public utilities category, radio's fifth-best, was down 20 percent in the first half.
Let's hope the roll the auto industry has been on continues for the balance of 2015. Those automotive-heavy Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday stopsets are music to the ears of managers hoping to hit their monthly numbers. And as the RAB reports, the Honda and Nissan Dealer Associations increased first-half spending on radio 23 percent and 17 percent respectively. Unfortunately, the love for radio wasn't across the board. The Toyota Dealer Association was off 21 percent, Chevy dealers dropped 21 percent, and Ford dealers 8 percent.
Stations in Baton Rouge, LA, Fort Morgan/Sterling, CO, Fredericksburg, VA, Marshall, MO, Santa Rosa, CA, Sedalia, MO, Winchester, VA, and West Plains, MO will now receive ratings from Eastlan. Centennial Broadcasting has stations in Fredericksburg and Winchester. President & CEO Allen Shaw said, "After considerable deliberation among our corporate staff, market managers, and sales teams in Fredericksburg and Winchester, we concluded Eastlan's radio audience measurement services will provide us with credible data at a very efficient cost." Eastlan was formed in 1999 and now has 450 stations in 90 markets.
Salem says it is re-naming its top-of-hour news product, in a joint partnership with Townhall.com (which Salem owns). The new top-of-the-hour broadcast will be designed for NewsTalk stations and will carry the branding of Townhall.com.
Cumulus has released engagement numbers for the talent contest it launched on its 200 NASH stations back in June. The NASH Next talent search is an artist competition that uses social media activity to help select winners. Winners are decided based on a combination of an original "Spin Index" of social media activity, online fan voting and three music industry judges: music producer James Stroud, country artist and radio personality Kix Brooks and Cumulus Executive VP John Dickey. Here are the social media numbers Here are the early social media numbers...
77 WABC in New York is owned by Cumulus. Rita Cosby, host of "The Rita Cosby Show", will present a web series called "Back to the Books Radio", beginning today. A new show debuts every weekday next week at 12:00 p.m. ET on wabcradio.com, a separate stream specifically designed for this series of programs. Cosby will discuss issues in American education with prominent voices in education, including: teacher and student standards, busing, charter schools, Common Core, and illegal immigrants and who should pay for their education.
General Managers and Market Managers have a lot of responsibility at radio stations across America these days. In addition to high revenue expectations, there's the constant challenge of selling radio in a world shifting to digital, managing multiple staffs and stations, finding and keeping good salespeople, and keeping their stations strong in the community. Those that execute those tasks do it flawlessly and make it look easy. They are the best in the industry and it's time to recognize them. Radio Ink is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Best Radio Managers in America. MAKE YOUR NOMINATION HERE. YOUR DEADLINE IS THIS FRIDAY.
You may recall the June departure of Clay Hunnicutt who was Executive VP/GM of National Programming platforms. That change meant opportunity for several others in the iHeartMedia braintrust who now pick up some of what Hunnicutt's responsibilities were. The National Programming Platforms group has named Brad Hardin Executive VP/GM, Jon Zellner Executive VP of Programming Operations and Maynard Executive VP of Programming Strategy. All three report to Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms.
97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia is owned by Greater Media. Former Philadelphia Eagle Brian Westbrook will join Anthony Gargano in the Morning every Monday after an Eagles game from 9-10am. Westbrook has been a regular contributor to the station having co-hosted a Midday Show with Harry Mayes during the 2014 season and hosted his own show with The Fanatic as a player during the 2008 season.
Ian Rogers is out at Apple. Rogers was put in charge of leading Apple Beats1 Radio Channel after Apple purchased Beats in 2014 for $3.3 billion. Apple Music is Apple's much-hyped entry in the market of subscription streaming music. Beats1 is a live channel and probably the most popular piece of the Apple Music product. CNET says Rogers was the most praised feature of the streaming-music subscription service known as Apple Music
CBS Radio in Philadelphia rebranded WRDW-FM five months ago from Wired 96.5 to Amp Radio (Top 40). On Friday, the station added two live announcers after going jock-less since the change. According to the Philadelphia Business Journal, Mike Adam (pictured) will host afternoon drive and Jill Osterman will host middays. Adam worked at 92.3 Amp Radio in New York and WIOQ in Philadelphia. Osterman was most recently the afternoon drive host at HOT 95-7 (KKHH-FM) in Houston. Both start September 10.
WYMS-FM, better known as 88Nine, is an independent non-commercial station in Milwaukee. Ken Sumka has been promoted to APD and on-air talent Justin Barney is moved up to Music Director. Sumka replaces Jordan Lee, who was recently named station PD. DJ Marcus Doucette is now Imaging Manager and DJ Dori Zori has been named to the new position of Community Outreach Manager.
Some say TV's new golden age is nearing its end, and Tom Asacker and Mark Ramsey agree. Plus, when what passes for news online gets too nasty, who do we have to blame, the advertisers? Not so, say Mark and Tom. Plus, Tom raves about the TV news reporter who has had quite enough Kardashian news. Meanwhile, Mark rants about how Periscope lies with statistics and rants about how Disney is turning the Star Wars franchise into an infinitely bigger franchise. It's episode 26 of Media Unplugged with branding authority Tom Asacker and media strategist Mark Ramsey. LISTEN HERE.
(By Spike Santee) Your new customer, the one you worked so hard to sell, the one that loved their commercial, the one you were so proud of, just called and cancelled their advertising. You sit there stunned, speechless, wondering what just happened. Why did the customer, all of a sudden, decide to cancel without warning? Chances are your new customer found themselves in The Zone of Doubt and Blame.
(By Matt Sunshine) "We need to hire more salespeople!" "We need to hire better salespeople!" These are the cries we hear day every day from the sales managers and executives in radio. While the strategy to simply hire more and better sellers might be a good one, you and I know it's just not that easy. If you are the one responsible for the hiring process and the on-boarding of these new sellers, you are probably left wondering how you're going to get that accomplished. You are not alone!
It's going to be a tumultuous 2016, and that's why we're so pleased to announce that Greater Media Chairman/CEO Peter Smyth and Sugarloaf Rock Capital Managing Partner Drew Marcus will be serving as co-chairs of Forecast 2016, set for November 20, 2015 in New York City. As Radio Ink Publisher Eric Rhoads says, "With so many critical business and financial issues continuing to face the radio industry, we are extremely pleased to have Peter Smyth and Drew Marcus provide their guidance to this year's Forecast."
The awards are named after Detroit's own Bill Burton - the guy who tirelessly worked to promote the benefits of advertising on the radio to the automotive industry and whose famous mantra was "Be Fabulous." Bill passed away this past December. The "Be Fabulous" awards are a tribute to his incredible impact. HERE ARE THE DETAILS.
Radio Ink's third annual DASH conference in Detroit, held in conjunction with Jacobs Media, will take place November 4 and 5 at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport. If you were on the fence about attending, now's the time to jump off. Here's A LOOK at this year's agenda. The battle for audio space in the DASH continues to be one of the biggest issues facing broadcasters. This is a must-attend conference if you consider yourself a cutting-edge broadcaster.