Friday, May 05, 2006

Canadian Radio = $$$$+

Canada's commercial radio stations recorded a 24 per cent increase in pre-tax profit last year, at a time when the industry is raising concerns about its future with the rise of new competitors such as iPods and satellite radio.

Profit before interest and taxes rose to nearly $277-million in 2005 for commercial stations on the FM and AM dials. Revenue, meanwhile, climbed to $1.3-billion, a gain of almost 9 per cent over 2004.

Those increases outpaced the industry average over the last five years,
the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said in a statement announcing the numbers.

It's truly amazing, working in both countries as we do, to compare how strong radio is right now in Canada with how poorly it's been doing in the USA.

As profileration of new licenses is beginning at warp speed in Canada right now, I am reminded of FCC docket 80-90 and the consolidation it "required" (?) in 1996 which has failed to live up to its financial promise as the Cumulus layoffs in their newly-acquired markets this week continue to demonstrate.

Hopefully, Canadians are carefully studying the path their southern neighbors have taken over the last 15 years and will manage to avoid the pitfalls that U.S. radio's economic doldrums and seeming inability to find growth are symptoms of.

There's no way to downsize your way to better customer satisfaction at a time when personal media are also emerging at warp+ speed.

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