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National Spot Numbers Are All Positive

‘Inventory is tight and pacing date is strong as we head into the important holiday shopping season’

Stu Olds has encouraging news this week regarding the national spot portion of radio’s ad pie.

The president/CEO of Katz Media says political spending and other category gains have pushed national spot revenue up 20% for the year through October and that the fourth quarter is pacing up almost 37%. Katz is a large media rep firm owned by Clear Channel.

He described “brisk selling” in recent months and said, “While these pacing numbers only reflect business on the books as of today, they reflect a strong book of business carrying us into the final quarter of 2010. These robust numbers are already carrying into 2011, with first-quarter pacing up 31.8% from 2010’s period.”

Political spending was a factor, but “our core business is the primary driver of our overall results. The top seven categories in national spot radio (excluding political) in the fourth quarter are all pacing far ahead of last year’s numbers. While telecom is up 6.1% in the final quarter, the other major advertising categories are dramatically higher, led by a surging auto industry with a 67.6% increase. This momentum is continuing into 2011, with impressive gains in the auto, entertainment and retail sectors in the first quarter.”

Noting trends in individual markets, Olds wrote: “The 2010 advertising recovery in national spot radio has swept the country. All market groupings reflect significant pacings gains, with tracked market segments up double digits in many of the top 100 markets. Fourth-quarter pacing are up in New York (+30.5%): Boston (+13.8%); SF (+33.1%); Houston (+25.2%); Philadelphia (+29.0%); Detroit (+25.4%); Miami (+64.8%); Tampa (+71.4%); Baltimore (+40.1%); Columbus (+38.0%); Ok City (+32.7%); Knoxville (+34.9%); and Akron (+178.8%).”

“Inventory is tight and pacing date is strong as we head into the important holiday shopping season,” he continued in his note to clients.“It’s critical to quickly and clearly communicate this information to our customers because demand for fourth-quarter spots remains at very high levels.”