What’s Going On With Local Ad Revenue? (Day 5)


In day five of our series about local ad revenue we check in with Community Broadcasters CEO Bruce Mittman. The company owns stations in New York, South Carolina, and Florida.

Radio Ink: How was Q2 for your stations?
Mittman: First and second quarters were not as robust as they have been in the past. Local was down in the second quarter, but not nearly as down as national was. Our second quarter is so far our weakest quarter of the year.

Radio Ink: Why do you think Q2 was down?
Mittman: In the second quarter we experienced a fair amount of losses in automotive. However, the third quarter is running up a bit and seems to be accelerating.

Radio Ink: What were your top categories?
Mittman: Even though it was down, automotive was still a top category. Entertainment was a good category and legal grew nicely for us.

Radio Ink: How important will political ad buys be?
Mittman: I think radio benefits greatly from political because of the impact it has on TV. Radio benefits because of a tightening of inventory on the TV side. In the markets we’re in, South Carolina and Florida, we get impacted by political. In our New York markets the impact of political is not as strong. We will be impacted in South Carolina and Florida by the Presidential primaries. Statewide elections will also play a big role. Certainly every couple of years political has an impact on us.

Radio Ink: How is pacing for Q3?
Mittman: It’s now starting to pick up. Third and fourth quarters are pacing better. There seems to be more robust conversations, and clients seem to be making more commitments. Summer has been very active. I see it continuing into the fourth quarter.

Radio Ink: What is your gut feeling about how the rest of the year and the first part of 2020 are shaping up?
Mittman: I think the first part of 2020 is going to be very solid because of political spending. Political puts a lot of pressure on our competitive media because of inventory availability. That opens up new opportunities for radio. Also the growth of our digital platforms gives us the additional ability to compete. I’m looking forward to a stronger third and fourth quarter this year, and first quarter of next year.

Thanks to Bruce Mittman, CEO, Community Broadcasters


  1. Although it may be treated as one, this is not a rhetorical question:
    Given radio’s continuing losses in the automotive retail sector, is it any wonder that the spots I read for a dealer at the top of the week are the same spots I was practicing off-air as kid at my local station? The only elements that are different are the price points.
    What follows, then, is an indictment AND a rhetorical question:
    Have we learned nothing?


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