Private radio operating revenues continue to fall

StatsCan says 2017 marked the fourth consecutive annual decrease for the industry

Mario ToneguzziOperating revenues for Canada’s private radio broadcasting industry continue to fall.

According to a report released on Wednesday by Statistics Canada, 2017 marked the fourth consecutive annual decrease for the industry as operating revenues fell by 1.9 per cent from 2016 to $1.5 billion.

There were 724 private radio broadcasting stations in the country last year.

“A 3.1 per cent decrease in the sale of local advertising led to the drop in operating revenues. In 2017, 98.4 per cent of total operating revenues in private radio broadcasting were generated from advertising sales,” said the federal agency.

“Profits before interest and taxes totalled $284.8 million, representing a profit margin of 18.7 per cent in 2017. The profit margin has remained fairly stable over the past four years. Operating expenses fell 2.0 per cent to $1.2 billion in 2017.”

Private radio broadcasters in the five largest census metropolitan areas – Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa-Gatineau – accounted for 45.7 per cent of all advertising revenues in Canada in 2017.

Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.

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