All week long Radio Ink will be checking in with independent operators to get an early look at radio’s revenue performance in the third quarter. Today, Seven Mountains COO Jim Loftus. With their expected closing on Connoisseur stations in Stroudsburg, Seven Mountains will be operating in 8 markets, six in Pennsylvania and two in the Southern Tier of New York State.
Radio Ink: How did Q3 come in for the company?
Jim Loftus: Our Q3 was +3% for all seven of our Pennsylvania and New York markets. Our five legacy Pennsylvania markets were +8% for Q3. Year to date through September, we are +5% for the whole company and +11% for the five Pennsylvania markets.
Radio Ink: What were the strongest/weakest categories?
Jim Loftus: Employment, entertainment, personal services, and local retail were stronger.
Automotive was spotty, better in some markets and off in a few others.
Radio Ink: What are you hearing from the local advertisers about their economy?
Jim Loftus: One of the biggest challenges many of our advertisers face is their efforts to fill open positions. Many of our clients are in the hiring mode and their staffing needs have helped our radio and digital efforts significantly.
Radio Ink: What are you hearing from your salespeople?
Jim Loftus: Our company has made a real effort to help our sellers evolve into multi-media specialists. We’ve all been learning new solutions to our client’s challenges in the rapidly changing media environment. It has stimulated our team, both our newer people and our veterans.
Radio Ink: The “R” word seems is being blurted out, now and then, by the national media in recent months, almost as if they are hoping for a recession. How does that impact the mood of sellers and local advertisers?
Jim Loftus: Honestly, the whole “R word” thing seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. Our stations are doing well. The market is doing well. People look at their 401k’s and they are happy. But we always plan for the worst and hope for the best. If recession is a possibility, we prospect sectors that thrive in a weaker economy. If the recession hits, we’re ready. If it doesn’t, we have a more robust pipeline for any market conditions. Our team knows that it is our job to help our clients attract and retain customers, regardless of the state of the economy. We focus on that mission every day. Full-steam ahead!
Radio Ink: How is Q4 looking?
Jim Loftus: Our October is coming in strong and Q4 looks great.