From Mark Fratnik, BIA/KelseyRead More.
After examining the totals for 2010 radio station sales, one could become depressed. Like 2009, the total amount spent on acquisitions hovered around $400 million, even with 2010 considered to be a year of some economic recovery. However, the final tally shows there was no real increase in the value of radio station sales even though a slightly higher number of stations sold. So, what’s the outlook for the rest of 2011? Any positive signs? Let’s take a look.
From BIA/Kelsey’s MEDIA Access Pro™ database, we can calculate the past ten years of radio station sales. The figure below shows both the dollar value of those sales (black columns) and the actual number of stations that were sold (red line).
The most recent year’s disappointing level of radio station sales, even in the face of a recovering national economy, can largely be explained by the lack of available financing. Banks and equity investors were still concerned about the future of the economy and radio stations’ ability to withstand their competition and prosper.
In the first quarter of 2011, the tide seemed to have turned. Economic activity in general has improved, especially with the monthly employment results. Also, recent announcements of radio station acquisitions by Hubbard Broadcasting (of seventeen Bonneville stations) and Cumulus Broadcasting (of the entire radio operations of Citadel) has boosted the yearly total of announced radio station sales to 483 stations for $3.7 billion.