Thoughts and observations on the radio/TV station and wireless tower trading markets. A look at the impact and integration of new media into station operations.
Station values, stations for sale, radio and TV station news, towers, and more from the Managing Director of Media Services Group.
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
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
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
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.