BIA reports this morning that radio ownership dealmaking remained flat last year: “This trend indicates that potential buyers are looking for strategic acquisitions in smaller markets since there are few, if any, radio stations available in the larger markets where most of the strong stations are already part of local clusters. Also, by developing a cluster of radio stations in an unrated market, groups can work with Arbitron to establish it as a rated market.” (In 1996, there were 261 Arbitron markets, and now there are 296)
Meanwhile, Inside Radio's Tom Taylor reports Harris Nesbitt's Radio Airtime Monitor detected 7.7% less commercial time in December 2005 compared to December '04: "Analyst Lee Westerfield says revenue yield per minute grew an estimated 7.7% and notes that Clear Channel was the group that cut back the most on inventory among groups in the survey - 19% less ad time. The average top ten market radio station ran 11 minutes of commercial time a year ago in December, compared to ten minutes this year. (These are the same financial folks who are sounding very bearish on radio right now)
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