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Dickey: "Automotive Category is Bouncing Back"

March 14, 2011

In the Cumulus Q4 conference call, Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey reported that automotive, one of radio's strongest advertising category for decades, is returning. At Cumulus Media Inc, 4th quarter auto revenue was up 16% over 2009 and at Cumulus Media Partners, which represents the larger markets for Cumulus, 4th quarter auto revenue jumped 26%.

Dickey says local dealers are gaining their footing again after taking a pretty strong hit during the recession. "Their balance sheets are stronger, they use radio well and have been for decades and they have a great deal of success using radio." Dickey added the auto advertising recovery starts in the larger markets and is working down to the smaller markets. Auto revenue was nearly 20% for Cumulus and dropped down to the single digits during the recession.

Dickey also stated that local advertising revenue is starting to rebound and is outpacing national in Q1. While he did not detail how much inventory was booked for the month of April, Dickey sounded happy with the way business was pacing for that month. And, he added May looks even better.

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