The fourth quarter of last year wasn't easy on the radio business, judging by some of the first results released by a big broadcast radio group. Emmis Communications reported that total revenues declined 10.6% from $66.3 million in the period ending Nov. 30, 2010 to $59.3 million in the same period in 2011.
This drop was due to an even steeper decline in the company’s radio division, where total revenues sank 16.7% from $47.8 million to $39.8 million. This fall was offset only somewhat by a 5.4% increase in the company’s publishing revenues from $18.5 million to $19.5 million.
Turning to specific advertising categories, Emmis saw total local revenues slip 14.8%, from $35.9 million in 2010 to $30.6 million in 2011. National revenues fell 10.4%, from $11.5 million to $10.3 million. Due to the lack of political advertising associated with the 2010 midterm elections, political ad revenue tumbled from $1 million to $175,000.
In one bright spot, non-traditional revenues -- including digital and online advertising revenues -- increased around 9% from $3.3 million to $3.6 million.
Still, the radio business overall had a fair year in the first nine months of 2012.
According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, total radio ad revenues increased 3% in the first quarter, 1% in the second quarter, and 2% in the third quarter. That compares to overall ad-spending growth of 4.1% in the first quarter, 2.8% in the second, and 0.4% in the third, per Kantar Media. Fourth-quarter figures for total radio advertising and overall ad spending are not yet available.