Published on Thursday, 12 April 2012 15:36
Radio advertising dollars may have been in a downward or flat pattern over the last few years, but a few radio stations in Chicago saw their annual revenues increase in 2011, including the market leader in revenue WBBM-AM. Here now is a look at the top earning radio stations for 2011.
This week, BIA/Kelsey -- the independent market researcher and advisory firm for media and technology companies, specializing in the local advertising business for those companies -- privately released information regarding the top earning stations locally, as well as releasing the top national billing stations.
According to these newly released numbers from last year, the winner in Chicago radio once again was WBBM-AM, as they were able to earn an approximate $48 million in advertising revenue -- a $5.5 million increase over the 2010 totals and an $8 million increase over 2009's totals. Not only was that enough to be #1 in Chicago, but the $48 million in revenue earned WBBM-AM a #4 ranking nationally -- up from #7 the year before and #8 the year before that.
WBBM-AM's strong market-leading radio ratings in 2011, strong advertiser & listener excitement over the station's Chicago Bears game broadcasts, and the station simulcasting on 105.9 FM since early August are among the reasons for the strong earnings. Nationally, the strongest earning stations have been news or mostly-news. That is one of the main reasons brand new news stations, such as Chicago's FM News 101.1, have been popping up across the country in the last 10 months or so. Additionally, companies like Cumulus Media are now slowly converting their talk stations to news & news/talk stations across the country. With this being an election year, bringing increased interest to news stations by listeners and increased revenue from political ads, 2012 will most likely be a record year for news-based radio stations.
2010's #2 billing station in Chicago, WGN-AM, saw its revenues decrease, dropping it to #3 in the 2011 totals. WGN-AM brought in $35.5 million in revenue in 2011 -- a respectable number, but still below the $38.8 million from the previous year.
The following are the Top 10 billing Chicago radio stations for 2011, a Chicagoland Radio & Media exclusive:
1. WBBM-AM/WCFS-FM (News/Sports) $48,000,000 -- CBS Radio
2. WTMX-FM (Hot AC) $36,000,000 -- Hubbard Broadcasting
3. WGN-AM (News/Talk/Sports) $35,500,000 -- Tribune Broadcasting
4. WOJO-FM (Mexican Regional) $24,000,000 -- Univision Radio
5. WUSN-FM (Country CHR) $22,000,000 -- CBS Radio
6. WVAZ-FM (Urban AC) $20,500,000 -- Clear Channel Communications
7. WGCI-FM (Urban) $18,700.000 -- Clear Channel Communications
8. WBBM-FM (CHR) $18,000,000 -- CBS Radio
9. WDRV-FM/WWDV-FM (Classic Rock) $16,100,000 -- Hubbard Broadcasting
10. WKSC-FM (CHR) $15,900,000 -- Clear Channel Communications
Looking at the bigger national picture, here are the Top 10 billing U.S. radio stations for 2011:
1. WTOP-FM (News) $64,000,000 -- Hubbard Radio - Washington, DC
2. KIIS-FM (CHR) $57,000,000 -- Clear Channel Communications - Los Angeles, CA
3. KFI-AM (News/Talk) $48,100,000 -- Clear Channel Communications - Los Angeles, CA
4. WBBM-AM (News) $48,000,000 -- CBS Radio - Chicago, IL
5. WCBS-AM (News) $47,500,000 -- CBS Radio - New York, NY
6. WHTZ-FM (CHR) $46,000,000 -- Clear Channel Communications - New York, NY
7. KROQ-FM (Alternative) $42,000,000 -- CBS Radio - Los Angeles, CA
8. WINS-AM (News) $42,000,000 -- CBS Radio - New York, NY
9. WLTW-FM (AC) $42,000,000 -- Clear Channel Communications - New York, NY
10. WFAN-AM (Sports/Talk) $40,500,000 -- CBS Radio - New York, NY
(All of the above local & national figures are courtesy of BIA/Kelsey)
This week, BIA/Kelsey reported
"over-the-air local radio station revenues in 2011 reached $14.1 billion, a 0.4 percent increase from the year before." Those station's online revenues reached a record $439 million, a 15.1% increase over the previous year. The company estimates online revenues will continue to increase at a great pace and that overall radio revenues should see an increase in 2012 by as much as a half a billion dollars nationally.