May 22, 2009 -By Katy Bachman, Mediaweek
NEW YORK - The radio advertising business just posted its worst quarter in history.
Combined national and local ad spending fell 26 percent to $2.8 billion, according to figures released late Thursday by the Radio Advertising Bureau. Network radio, the segment of the business that held up fairly well through most of last year, fell 13 percent to $238 million. Off-air revenue fell 12 percent to $264 million.
Revenue from radio's digital platforms, including online, streaming and HD Radio side channels, was the medium's one bright spot, up 13 percent to $101 million.
Factoring all segments of the radio business, radio revenue was down 24 percent to $3.4 billion.
The RAB's estimates are based on a pool of more than 100 markets as reported by Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co., and extrapolated to the entire U.S.