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I read the Wall Street Journal so you don't have to

The following is a summary of a story in today's 
(4/12/00) WSJ, pg B15 headlined: Advertisements on
Radio Stations Rise 6%".
Paid advertisements on radio grew by about 6% in 1999
according to figures releeased by Empower Media Mktg,
Cincinnati, OH. The biggest increase was in the San
Fran/Oakland/San Jose area where billings rose by about
20% last year.  The second-largest increase was in the
Miami/Ft Lauderdale area with a gain of 16% over 1998.
Two markets: San Antonio and Indianapolis experienced
DECLINES of 7% and 2% respectively.  An officer of 
Empower Media was quoted at saying that radio was so 
hot last year with dot-coms and technology firms 
spending freely that stations added commercials while
decreasing programming.  The study analyzed 16 markets
but the WSJ story didn't mention Boston.  An officer of
an advertising agency, DDB Worldwide, was quoted as 
saying that music stations average 12 minutes of spots
and hour while news and talk stations average 22
minutes per hour.  The Radio Advertising Bureau is 
given as the source for the following figures: total
radio advertising in 1999 was $17.6 billion, a 15%
increase over 1998; advertising for dot-coms accounted
for $500,000 or about 3% of total dollars spent on 
radio in 1999.  The article said that radio station 
owners monitor "listening patterns" to prevent 
commercial overload (Ha! my interjection); media 
buyers were said to find current commercial loads 
worrisome.  One advertising executive was quoted as 
saying that some ad breaks are long enough for her to
take a shower.  Of the 16 markets surveyed by 
Empower Media, 6 saw double-digit in clutter: besides
San Fran and Miami, the others were Detroit with a 12%
increase; and Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington DC
with 11% each.  Alternative rock stations had the
largest increase in ads, 13%...classical-music stations
saw their billings DROP by about 6%.

Laurence from Methuen

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