What’s Going On With Local Ad Revenue? (Day 4)


Public radio companies have been reporting dismal local ad revenue for Q2. All week long we’ve been talking to privately held radio groups about local revenue in their markets. Today, Neuhoff Communications CEO Beith Neuhoff shares her thoughts. The company operates 23 stations in Illinois and Indiana.

Radio Ink: How was Q2 for local ad revenue?
Neuhoff: Local advertising was not strong in Q2. Automotive took a serious hit in our markets with some of our largest dealers leaving radio and going 100 percent digital. Cellular business also fell off.

Radio Ink: What are your three best categories?
Neuhoff: Despite a significant decline, automotive is still tops. Behind it are healthcare, home and garden, financial services, and restaurants.

Radio Ink: What are local advertisers saying about economy?
Neuhoff: Local advertisers seem less focused on the economy and more concerned about the over-saturation of the competitive landscape. Overall, the minimum wage increase is also of serious concern.

Radio Ink: How is pacing for Q3?
Neuhoff: Pacing is flat but seems to be accelerating into the quarter.

Radio Ink: What challenges lie ahead?
Neuhoff: Looking forward, navigating the exploding CBD market and sports betting are front and center. We also continue to advocate for ownership relief in the smaller markets as we feel the competitive squeeze acutely.

Radio Ink: Thoughts on how the rest of 2019 will go?
Neuhoff: I’m optimistic about fourth quarter. It always has a way of delivering something unexpected.

Thanks to Beth Neuhoff, President/CEO, Neuhoff Communications


  1. So she advocates for “ownership relief in the smaller markets”

    It’s funny how these executives think adding more stations will solve the dilemma they’ve gotten themselves into. Why would having more stations, and running them the same way, help? That action would not increase sales-it may decrease costs.
    You can only decrease costs so much until your product no longer resembles what it once was.
    Stations need to face the fact that only increasing the TOP line will solve the financial mess the industry is now in.
    Increasing the top line requires a number of actions including:
    1. Bigger sales staffs/smaller account lists
    2. Regular rate increases and rate integrity
    3. Local programming
    4. Investing in proper sales training
    5. Higher ad content in typical hour permitted and encouraged
    There are other actions needed , but broadcasters need to quit dreaming that having more stations really solves an industry problem. It solved nothing in 1996; in fact, that’s when many of the current problems began.


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