Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: July 28, 2017

CRTC releases annual Broadcaster financial report card

The report in full is here; meantime, here are highlights covering commercial radio in 2016.

Commercial radio stations have posted negative growth for the third consecutive year, according to new data released by the CRTC.

The regulator cites the trend as being more pronounced for local advertising sales, mirroring information released earlier in the month by Statistics Canada.

Some regions have cited economic slowdowns as a contributor to lower advertising revenues. English-language stations reported revenue losses while French-language stations reported a moderate increase.

Commercial radio revenues fell below the $1.6 billion mark and reverted to 2010 levels. Over 700 commercial radio stations reported revenues of $1,551 million, compared to $1,602 million in 2015.

Local advertising fell 5.4% over the last year, while national advertising continues to rise but at a more modest rate of 1.2%.

English-language stations reported a drop of over $53 million in revenues (-4.2%) in 2016 along with lower profitability margins. French-language stations reported a moderate increase of $3 million for a growth rate of 1.1%. A reduction in overall expenses helped French-language stations increase profit margins to 20.4%, compared to 16.7% in 2015.

Ethnic stations have remained stable, collectively reporting over $46 million in total revenues in 2016. Local advertising revenues represent over 88% of total revenues, highlighting ethnic broadcasters’ ability to deliver content to targeted local audiences.

Many western markets (particularly in Alberta) reported decreases in advertising revenues due to concerns regarding the instability of the oil industry as well as financial impacts stemming from the Fort McMurray and the Wood Buffalo Region wildfire. For example, the Edmonton radio market posted a negative revenue growth rate of 14.5% driven by a decrease of 19.1% in local advertising sales.

Both AM and FM bands were negatively affected by faltering advertising revenues in 2016. However, AM stations fared better than FM stations regarding growth.

AM stations reported revenues of $284 million and a negative growth rate of 0.6%. FM stations reported revenues of $1,267 million and a negative growth rate of 3.8%.

Commercial radio’s PBIT margin remained stable at 19%. This margin is within the 18-20% range of the past five years.

Total radio revenues for CBC increased by over $14 million (or 5.1%) between 2015 and 2016. The increase is almost entirely attributable to a change in the Parliamentary Appropriation

Conversely, some Central and Eastern markets fared better than their Western counterparts. Saint John, New Brunswick recorded double digit growth of 10.7% in 2016. Windsor-Chatham, Ontario was just behind with a growth rate of 9.4% over the same period. The national average experienced a 3.2% decline in total revenues.

The complete statistical and financial report for radio is available here

Country 105 to receive Slaight Music Humanitarian Award

The Canadian Country Music Association Board of Directors have announced Calgary radio station Country 105 is the recipient of the 2017 Slaight Music Humanitarian Award, for their ongoing commitment to the Country 105 Caring for Kids Radiothon.

The 14th annual, held in February, involved three days of live broadcasts from Alberta Children’s Hospital, supporting the institution’s foundation. Yearly, over 70 families whose children have received life-changing and life-saving care from the Alberta Children’s Hospital share their stories as a way of saying thank you to their doctors, nurses and therapists.

This year, $1.8 million was raised–amid a recession-riddled province – bringing the overall radiothon funds to more than $22.7M.

Approximately 250 radiothons support children’s’ hospitals across Canada and the US through the Children’s Miracle Network annually. Year after year, the Country 105 Caring for Kids Radiothon raises the most money – even in comparison to larger markets such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Toronto –illustrating the importance of the hospital, its foundation and the radiothon in the community.


Print editions of the National Post are no longer available in Saskatchewan. Print distribution in Newfoundland ceased in 2007 and all Monday editions of the newspaper in June of this year.

The Board of Canadian Broadcast Sales has named Gerry MacKrell as its incoming president, effective Sept. 1. He replaces Patrick Grierson, Founder and President of CBS.

MacKrell spent most of his career with Corus Entertainment, most recently as Senior Vice President of National Sales.

ASCAP and BMI plan to launch a joint database of member songwriters, composers and music publishers in 2018, and adding other complementary directories when available.


Doug Anderson, a 35-year broadcast veteran most recently the PD at Country 101.1(CKBY) and 92.3 Jack FM until his retirement from Rogers Radio in 2012, died on July 24 at age 64.

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