Monday, December 21, 2009

10 in '10 (my predictions for the broadcasting industry in 2010)

‘Tis the season for crystal ball gazing. Here’s what mine (albeit a littly foggy) suggests for 2010:

1. More bankruptcies and bank workouts

I predict a couple of major bankruptcies, likely pre-arranged, and more than a couple from smaller broadcasting companies. (Note: I wrote this post last week before the Citadel news broke yesterday). Banks will continue to try to work with good company management groups, but will move to take over companies perceived to be burdened with weak management.

2. Prices will hover in the 6x to 8x BCF range (with occasional outliers both above and below).

3. Seller financing will return to small market deals. Banks will remain on the sidelines relative to new lending.

4. Social media will become more crucial to station marketing

5. Big radio companies will become smaller, focusing on top 50 markets and spinning off their smaller markets.

6. The entrepreneur will return (buying those markets spun off by the big boys).

7. Interactive revenue will post double-digit growth.

8. Broadcast groups will attempt to clean up and “right size” their portfolios (as opposed to point # 5, this relates to groups peeling off non-performing stations in markets where they will continue to operate).

9. FM sticks will trade at $3 to $6 per pop (based on the 60 dBu contour).

10. AM sticks will trade at less than $1 per pop (based on the 2.0 mVm contour)

RBR recently ran an article on 2010 which in addition to a few of my thoughts, included those of others in the industry. Check it out here:


  1. It's a very good ten, George. Here is #11: personalities who understand that they are the personification of a brand, putting the 'social' into radio's social network, will increasingly realize that they have someone of great value and will begin to leverage it themselves in all media other than those specified in their agreement with the employer. Owning distribution will no longer be the barrier to entry for onwers than it once was. Content drives the value of everything.

  2. #12 - Forward thinking groups will evolve their mobile radio platforms to a MUCH more interactive and social realm, far beyond just being a listening portal on a phone. Come to think of it, their sites overall will do the same. Think highly social along with being rich local portals.