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‘We’ve Survived,’ Greater Media Chief Says

Surveying the radio industry’s business environment, Smyth also believes ‘we have become better businesspeople’

Peter Smyth says “we have proved that we can operate in a violent contraction of the market and survive.”

The chairman and CEO of broadcast owner Greater Media writes in his online column, “We have come through the most chaotic, stressful and challenging year any of us has experienced in our adult lives. We also know that the Great Recession has most probably ended, at least in technical terms, and we have survived.”

Speaking about both his own company and the industry at large, Smyth sees reason for hope: “At the risk of sounding like a political candidate, we can see the beginning of renewed optimism for the coming year. Business is slowly returning to something that looks like the new normal. We still have significant issues to address, but we can be fairly confident that the system will not experience meltdown.”

Smyth sees the auto advertising category coming back, as well as some stability in the real estate market. “Credit is starting to become more available as bankers and other lenders also realize that the worst has passed.” And he urged readers to “have faith” in the macro-economic impact of government investment in the economy. “If we’ve come this far on the first 40% of the stimulus spending, the next year should move even more rapidly in a positive direction as the remaining 60% of the stimulus commitment reinforces our financial stability and helps our local business partners grow.”

He also thinks the hard times have had a positive impact: “We have become better businesspeople. … The past year and a half has forced all of us to make the very difficult decisions to run our business in a more efficient fashion and produce more and better results for our customers. We now know that we can accomplish these goals, and we know that we can satisfy even the most demanding client.”

Read it here.