Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A few words about last week’s 2013 Radio Show in Orlando . . .

Things were a lot more upbeat this year; the “buzz” was good.  And the venue (Rosen Shingle Creek) was comfortable and convenient.  Here is a link to Radio Ink’s10 Reasons The NAB Radio Show Rocked!

Media Services Group gathered for a meeting the day before the show started.  It is always a good opportunity for us to compare notes on the state of the industry.  With our national footprint of eleven offices, we are able to get a handle on trends, particularly in the area of station values.

We believe that radio station prices are fundamentally trading in a range of 6.0x to 7.0x Broadcast Cash Flow, with “outlier” deals as low as the 5s and as high as the 8s.  Our confidence level on this position is quite high; and the meetings we had in our suite with buyers and sellers supported the thesis.

Lew Paper’s (Pillsbury) breakfast was jam packed this year.  This is a good barometer of the state of the trading business.  Marci Ryvicker (Wells Fargo) kicked off the session with her annual state-of-the-industry report.  It was generally upbeat, though she pointed out that radio’s gains at the expense of local newspapers had pretty much run its course.  Still, radio is trending up somewhat for the year.

The group head panel consisted of:

Jeff made some salient points about radio being radio’s worst enemy.  He noted our tendency to shoot ourselves with massive spot loads and the failure to provide compelling local content.

Larry noted that you can once again buy stations at reasonable prices (putting his money where his mouth is once again with his recently announced $13 million deal for Columbia, SC).  He also cited our early stage position in monetizing digital, and the need to improve the quality of commercials.

Mary noted that investment capital is returning to radio, including some community banks.  Along with Jeff, she touched on the need to bring new people into the industry.

Lew talked about Cumulus’ recent acquisitions of Rdio and Westwood One (formerly Dial Global).  He cited XM/Sirius as a competitive threat, but stressed that they still receive less than 5% of listening.

Fred Jacobs posted a great list of “remarkable Radio Show quotes” which you can check out HERE.

Here is a list of the Marconi winners.

Next year’s show takes place September 10-12 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Finally, thanks to all who came by our suite.  It provided a great opportunity to catch up.  Planning starts now for the NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 5 – 10, 2014.

George
Media Services Group