US radio ad revenues finished 2002 strongly, with new figures from the Radio Advertising Bureau showing a 9% increase in total sales compared with the same month in 2001.

The rise was led by a 25% surge in revenues at national stations, while local sales rose a more modest 4%. However, the 9% overall increase – the tenth monthly gain in a row – was slightly slower than November’s +10% and October’s +13%.

The December figures complete a year of recovery for America’s radio sector. Total revenues increased 6% (13% national; 4% local) in 2002, almost reversing the 7.5% decline in 2001.

Declared RAB president/ceo Gary Fries: “Radio has made a full recovery and continues to lead ahead of other media … due in part to its diverse advertising categories, its ability to change and adapt to the constantly evolving advertising landscape and its success in delivering results for clients.”

Fries is predicting an increase in revenues of 6% to 8% in 2003.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff