Diversity in Advertising: Broadening the Scope of Research Directions

By Jerome D. Williams; Wei-Na Lee et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
When Perceptions Affect
Broadcasting in the Public Interest:
Advertising Media Buyers as an
Economic Hurdle for
Black-Oriented Radio Stations
Caryl A. Cooper
University of Alabama

If the re is one prevailing assumption that permeates the radioadvertising industry, it'sthis: higherratedradio stations earn greater advertising revenues than the ir lowerrated competitors in the same market. Radio stations that fail to earn revenue shares commensurate with the ir ratings are not uncommon. Certainly, other elements are involved: the format, the availability of advertisers placing addollars in themarket, an advertiser'sor ad agency's assessment of the buying power, spending patterns and responsiveness of the radio station'saudience, and economies derived from common ownership all play a part in a station'sability to attract advertisers(Ofori, 1999). However, patterns in rating-to-revenue share discrepancies not only raise eyebrows; the y also raise accusations of foulplay and questions about the agenda of those responsible forplacing advertising dollars. Moreover, because advertising playsa pivotalrole in a station'sability to broadcast in the public interest, patterns of revenue discrepancyraise the consternation of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

For morethan 20 years, owners and salespeople of Black-orientedradio stations have maintained that the ir stations do not receive advertising revenues that reflect the ir strengthin the market. The Re isevidence to supportthis perception. A specialreport releasedin January 1999 by the Civil Rights Forum (CRF) of the Federal Communications Commission shows that a disparitybetween

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