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’03 Radio Sales Couldn’t Repeat ’02 Finishing Kick

'03 Radio Sales Couldn't Repeat '02 Finishing Kick

In radio sales, the story of 2003 turned out to have a more modest ending than the year before.
One year ago, RAB President/CEO Gary Fries told a convention audience that the industry was entering 2003 with a “strong, strong foundation.” He reported then that radio had enjoyed one of its strongest finishes in late 2002 and achieved a 6% increase overall for the year. “There is no reason to predict we will fall off of this type of pacing,” he said then.
But according to the RAB’s latest numbers, total radio revenue including national, local and network ad money was up only 1% in 2003. The national piece jumped 6%, while network radio was up 3% and local radio, the bulk of the industry’s revenue, was flat.
Extrapolating from last year’s RAB statistics, this puts 2003 U.S. radio revenue at about $19.77 billion.
For December alone, RAB stated, radio was up 2% over the same month a year earlier. For the fourth quarter, radio revenue fell 1% over a year earlier.
“The growth radio generated in 2003 points to healthy ad sales in all sectors, as consumer confidence grows and we move into a more stable economy in 2004,” Fries stated Monday.