Radio revenue down 25% in Q2

Local, national advertising decreased to $3.4 bil

Radio revenue remained stuck on the bottom in second quarter, leading industry pundits to declare that the low point had been reached. Local and national advertising was down 25% to $3.4 billion in second quarter, according to figures released late Friday by the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Other radio segments performed better than radio's core in second quarter with network radio down 10% to $274 million. Off-air revenue declined 13% to $355 million. The only segment posting positive improvement in the quarter was digital, up 9% to $120 million. Combined, radio revenue dropped 22% to $4.2 billion.

"We are most likely past the Q1 low point for radio revenues and are now on the rebound," said Jeff Haley, president and CEO of the RAB, which itemized only radio's positives in its quarterly report.

Desperately seeking a silver lining, the RAB points out that some advertisers increased radio budgets such as Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, Arby's, Boost Mobile, US Cellular, Metro PCS, some foreign auto makers, and entertainment companies.

But for the most part, like other local media, radio was hit hard by a shrinking automotive category, slipping from the medium's top category to No. 3, and skittish retailers.

For the first half of the year, all of radio's revenue segments were collectively down 23% to $7.6 billion. Local and national revenue were each down 25% to $6.2 billion. Network dropped 11% to $512 million. Off-air dropped 13% to $619 million. Radio's one positive segment, digital, grew 10% to $221 million.