Saturday, December 8, 2007

Specialized Financing For Radio Station Owners & Broadcasters

Many radio station owners of groups or singles stations tell me that their bank or other financing source just doesn't understand the broadcasting business. Radio stations are often highly leveraged and revenues are generated through ad sales. Advertisers come and go and are dependent on local or regional economies. Certain ad spots are geared to seasonal promotions while others ebb and flow with political campaigns. Small market stations often struggle to compete with larger corporate broadcasters who dominate the airwaves. When broadcasters and station owners choose to invest in upgrading their facilities replacing broadcast technologies or expanding their group of stations it is often critical to have financing that fits the needs of the broadcaster (vs. the needs of the lender). Finding lenders who specialize in broadcast technology and radio station financials is key to achieving budget and cash flow solutions that fit the dynamics of the respective broadcaster's business. Sometimes smaller local banks "get it" and can become a good "friend" to radio. More often than not the radio station owner has few comparative choices for financing. When considering equipment or technology financing for your station seek out proposals from two or more competing sources that have an understanding of the radio station business and who know the technology. Negotiating good financing with a reputable lender will pay "dividends" in terms of limiting interest earnings and, perhaps more importantly, getting the right transaction structure that meets your station's specific needs and objectives.

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