What’s Going On With Local Ad Revenue? (Day 2)


Local ad revenue, according to reports from public radio companies, has been a disappointment in the second quarter. Strong national revenue has been the saving grace so far this year. This week we are checking with privately held radio groups to see how local revenue is performing for them. Today, Amador Bustos, President of Bustos Media, tells Radio Ink how his stations are performing.

Bustos Media is one of a few independent Hispanic-owned radio groups in the United States. Based in Portland, the group operates stations in Washington, California, Arizona and Texas.

Radio Ink: How was local ad revenue in Q2?
Bustos: Our company-wide local revenue growth for the Q2 has been 6%. We are on track to meet our full projected growth of 8% for 2019.

Radio Ink: What are local advertisers saying about the economy?
Bustos: The local economy in the Northwest continues to be vibrant and the Hispanic market continues to be attractive to local as well as national advertisers. Advertisers are now constantly talking about the power of digital and social media, but to a great degree it is becoming a negotiation “billy club.”

Radio Ink: What are your best categories?
Bustos: Automotive, Mobile Phone Services, Home Repair, and Fast Food.

Radio Ink: What challenges do you see ahead?
Bustos: There is generalized fear among advertisers that an expanding trade war with China is going to lead to a recession and/or significant advertising budget reductions.

Radio Ink: What are your thoughts about the rest of 2019?
Bustos: Other than the threat of a major economic downturn, 2019 looks to be another same-station organic growth year.

Thanks to Amador Bustos, President, Bustos Media, LLC


  1. Local radio has no reason to throw a pizza party.
    Local management does help – but just a little.
    Practically, they are gassed out as well.
    There is much to be done – and too few who can or are willing to do it.
    (I tried the Bob Ross method years ago. I loaded my palette, and all I could mix was brown.)

  2. So far what I’m seeing in this series is local sales suck for the big publicly held conglomerates … but smaller, privately held radio companies are seeing solid local revenue growth.

    That paints a very telling picture about how much the big publicly traded companies care about their markets … and the product they push into them. Or am I the only one seeing that lovely Bob Ross-esque image?

    So what are the privately owned stations doing that the ‘big boys’ have lost sight of?


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