Mixed Results For Hispanic Radio As Overall Dollars Tumble In Chicago

CHICAGO — January 23, 2015 — According to the annual Miller Kaplan revenue report for the nation’s third largest market, total radio income for the market’s stations dipped from $419,715,000 in 2013 to $376,231,000 in 2014. For Hispanic radio, the growth seen in recent years has perhaps ebbed — substantially.

Univision’s regional Mexican WOJO-FM remains the billing leader for Spanish-language stations in Chicago. However, total station revenue (which includes NTR and digital) is off 12.8% year over year, to $18.5 million. That puts it ninth overall.SBS-owned regional Mexican WLEY-FM enjoyed a 3.4% jump in revenue in 2014. However, it’s total revenue of $8,592,000 — while No. 2 among Spanish-language stations in the Windy City — remains nearly $10 million behind WOJO in the battle for dollars.

Meanwhile, iHeart’s WNUA-FM 95.5, the one-time Spanish Hot AC “Mega” which in its final Hispanic incarnation competed against WOJO and WLEY as regional Mexican “Patron,” saw revenue slide nearly 18% from 2013 to 2014, to $7.5 million. WNUA earlier this month changed its programming to English-language country music, as WEBG.

There was a huge gain in total revenue for Univision’s Spanish contemporary “Latino Mix” WVIV-FM 93.5/WVIX-FM 103.1 (the simulcast partners saw total revenue increase 60.9% year-over-year), to $5.1 million. Still, the overall numbers pale in comparison to general-market radio stations, increasing the call among Hispanic marketers and media sales executives to do more to build their “total market” stories.

— Adam R Jacobson