Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well - There Goes 2009!

Can we just skip a year and go straight to 2010? The latest projection for the radio business just came out last night, and analysts are already writing off 2009:

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Newly released data suggests that the U.S. radio industry could be on track to record its worst annual drop in ad revenue in decades.
According to the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), total ad revenue for all U.S. radio markets dropped 10 percent in October from a year earlier. Local revenue fell 15 percent, while national revenue slipped 1 percent.
October marked the industry's 18th consecutive month of year-on-year revenue declines, according to James Boyle, a senior broadcast analyst at research firm C.L. King & Associates in New York.
"One actually has to go all the way back to 1954, when radio ad revenue was down 9 percent against the prior year's dip of 2 percent" to find a worse decline, Boyle said. "1954 was the fourth straight year of substantial radio advertising underperformance versus total domestic ad revenue."
That was also the year, Boyle quipped, "when 'The Lone Ranger' had its last new radio episode and Sen. Joseph McCarthy was railing against hidden Communists."


The future doesn't appear bright, Boyle said. "If the recession lasts for all of 2009 and the weakness persists in many of the major radio ad categories, such as auto, to the point where spending severely plunges, then it may be 2010 or beyond before radio revives," he said.

You can read the entire depressing assessment HERE. And just to add fuel to the inferno, we just learned this morning that Montgomery County Teachers ( including my wife) will go without pay raises next year:

Montgomery County teachers and other school employees have agreed to give up a 5 percent pay raise next year, a concession that saves the school system $89 million and allows Superintendent Jerry D. Weast to balance the budget.
Leaders of four employee associations, representing more than 22,000 workers, agreed Tuesday to forgo the raise all workers would have received in the fiscal year that begins in July. Weast said he and other top administrators in Maryland's largest school system would also lose annual raises.
School officials said it was the first time since the early 1990s that Montgomery school employees had given up a contractual pay raise, a sign of the magnitude of the economic challenge. School board President Nancy Navarro (Northeastern County) credited unions with "tremendous sacrifice during these tough times."

You can read all about the teachers' pay raise cut HERE.

As much as it hurts our family budget, I support the county's action to cut the pay raises. As I've mentioned before, I believe it's important for government workers to have a realization of the troubles that their employers - the taxpayers - are experiencing. We'll all in this together, folks!

My wife has been troubled that my current state of underemployment is relatively unique among our friends - like there's something wrong with us. Unfortunately, I'm afraid our situation is going to grow less unique by the day.

Keep your heads down, folks!

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