SNL Kagan Releases New Radio/TV Station Annual Outlook Showing Steep Broadcast Revenue Declines in 2009

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Study forecasts a market adjustment in 2010 as station owners cut costs and provide digital alternatives to their local communities.

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Radio/TV Station Annual Outlook: Market-by-Market Revenue Projections

According to SNL Kagan's updated "Radio/TV Station Annual Outlook," radio and TV revenues will continue to fall in 2009 but are expected to regain some ground over the long term.

In 2008, the broadcast sector suffered deep declines as the recession intensified, with radio revenues down 10.0% to $17.7 billion and local and national spot TV ad revenues dropping 6.9% to $20.1 billion. SNL Kagan estimates 2009 revenues will slide even further, with declines of at least 15.0% for radio and 15.7% for TV stations anticipated.

SNL Kagan forecasts a turnaround in 2010, with modest growth through 2013 offsetting some of the declines of 2008-2009. In the five-year outlook, SNL Kagan expects radio revenues to decline by a CAGR of 1.9% and TV revenues to drop 2.0%.

Markets in Michigan are projected to grow the slowest, with mass automotive industry layoffs placing the future of the big three automakers in jeopardy. The Detroit market is expected to decline 16.3% for radio and 17.7% for TV in 2009, with a five-year CAGR of 2.9% and 4.4% respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, Washington, DC tops the list of markets showing the least attrition with a five-year CAGR of 0.4% for radio and 0.2% for TV, due to a massive increase in Federal government spending and the migration of laid-off banking professionals to jobs in the public sector. San Diego is a close second, with a CAGR of 0.4% for radio and 0.5% for TV.

"The outlook for 2009 indicates another grim year for broadcast revenues," said Robin Flynn, senior analyst at SNL Kagan. "Those radio and TV station owners who are able to reduce expenses while continuing to transition their business models to develop digital assets and non-traditional revenue streams will survive and reemerge as more efficient operations. If broadcasters have an advantage over Internet companies, it is their reach within local communities, and their financial success will depend on how they work to meet the needs of the local market."

The state of the broadcast industry in the wake of the economic crisis and the future prospects for growth and transactions will be the main subject at the 26th Annual SNL Kagan Radio/TV Finance Summit on Wednesday, April 1 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City. For more information on the event, call 434.951.7786.

About the Study
"Radio/TV Station Annual Outlook: Market-by-Market Revenue Projections," published annually by SNL Kagan for over 20 years, takes into account overall broadcast revenue trends, market demographics and projected ad revenues in determining a market's growth potential. The study is available exclusively as part of SNL Kagan Unlimited Information Service. For more information on this study and other media and communications data from SNL Kagan, call 866.296.3743.

About SNL Kagan
SNL Kagan, a division of SNL Financial LC, is a comprehensive resource for financial intelligence in the media and communications sector, including the broadcasting, cable, entertainment, motion picture, telecom, wireless, satellite, publishing and new media industries. The SNL Kagan suite of products integrates breaking news, comprehensive data and expert analysis into an electronic database available online and updated around the clock. For more information, visit

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