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SCBA: L.A. Market Sees 'Fragile Recovery' In 2010

January 27, 2010: The Southern California Broadcasters Association takes a look at the number one market for radio revenue, saying Los Angeles is in a "fragile recovery mode with sales up, consumer confidence wavering, and unemployment levels holding at best." L.A. radio revenue was up 4 percent in 2010 compared to '09, and the SCBA is projecting a 3 percent gain in 2011.

But the group says 3 percent is a "pretty aggressive growth rate," given that there will be relatively little political spending this year and with the L.A. economy "sluggish" in creating jobs. Says SCBA, "If the job situation does not improve or deteriorates even more, we will likely just match 2010 revenue levels in 2011."

The top 10 categories showing gains in L.A. in 2010 were auto, financial, TV networks, grocery, political, beverages, department stores, health care, personal fitness/personal care products, and casinos/charities.

Financial services in particular picked up after a sharp fall in 2009, up 16 percent as of December. Health care was up 21 percent, moving into the top 10 in L.A.

Additionally, the SCBA reports that L.A. radio added 664 new accounts in 2010, and "many advertisers who left radio for other local media in the past two years returned to radio."

The SCBA concludes, "There are sure signs that recovery is underway, but there's little to indicated how quickly it will happen in 2011. We expect the year to start slowly then build quickly."

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