Radio Will Come Back, Advertisers Not So Much

Stations have been floating their best advertisers during COVID.

When they return as paid sponsors, it will all be different in at least two important ways.

Some of radio’s misguided practices from the past will unfortunately resurface but there is one radio group that has been using the downtime to build campaigns that advertisers need and will pay for in a timely manner.

There are collection problems ahead making the full-fledged return of radio ads moot to the bottom line.

And Black Lives Matter – I guarantee you 100% of the nation’s radio stations don’t see the destabilizing effect of a potential BLM boycott and there is no industry that is more vulnerable to it than radio.

iHeart is also hoping to flip formats on 15 stations to a black “our voices will be heard” format – firing more people and creating a radio syndication under the cover of commercializing the issue of racial injustice – but will advertisers support a gratuitous effort that will seem like pandering from a group of white execs and a predominantly white board of directors?

Radio believes the new normal is to reopen and advertisers in radio and in social media are hitting pause – which is it?

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