account for an increasing share of the total radio advertising revenues in these markets. The largest firm in each radio Metro market has, on average, 45 percent of the market’s total radio advertising revenue. The largest two firms in each radio market have, on average, 70 percent of the market’s radio advertising revenue. However, there does not appear to be any downward trend in the variety of radio formats available to consumers in these markets. Acquiring radio companies appear to have pursued format diversification, rather than format concentration strategies.
The financial-market trends reported in the "1997 Radio Review" continue to hold through 1999. An analysis of publicly-traded companies whose primary business is radio broadcasting continues to reflect strong financial performance. However, publicly-traded radio companies still carry heavy debt loads, which contributes to the high volatility observed in their earnings. Finally, the high debt loads of these publicly-traded radio companies also contribute to the volatility of their stock market valuations. Having said that, their overall company valuations have outperformed the broad market of publicly-traded companies, as reflected in Standard and Poor's 500 (S&P 500) index returns.
This report also examines the performance of small radio station-groups. Radio stations in small station-groups do not perform as well as stations in large station-groups.