Local Radio Ad Market Shows Signs Of Recovery

Following four consecutive months of flat or declining sales, local radio ad spending began to expand again in September, according to estimates released Monday by the Radio Advertising Bureau. While the local ad growth was modest, a 2 percent gain over September 2002, when coupled with double-digit national radio ad sales growth of 13 percent, total radio ad revenues climbed 4 percent in September.

That's twice the rate overall radio ad spending had been growing so far this year. Through the first nine months of 2003 total radio ad spending rose 2 percent. National ad dollars for January through September rose 8 percent, while local sales grew 1 percent.

Despite the improvement, the RAB cautioned that local economies remain unstable and unpredictable. "Consumer confidence at the local level is not progressing at the same pace that economic indicators are improving," said Gary Fries, president and chief executive officer of the RAB, noting, "Even though local improvement traditionally follows national trends in a upturn, the momentum for this recovery is just in its first stages."



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