The 2008/09 financial year proved difficult for metropolitan radio, with national sales sliding 3.28%.

Sydney was hit worst with a 9.44% decline, followed by Adelaide’s 3.44% drop and Brisbane’s 2.43% fall. Melbourne and Perth bucked the trend, growing 1.68% and 0.93% respectively.

Joan Warner, chief executive of Commercial Radio Australia, said the Sydney market had proven unpredictable for all media companies since business and consumer confidence fell two years ago.

We are really pointing out that radio is doing pretty well in tough, tough times… the New South Wales economy is not really the best economy in Australia and that is widely acknowledged, Warner said.

Efi Richter, head broadcast media buyer at Mediacom, agreed saying the radio market had fared better than television in terms of revenue for the year. Mediacoms projections for 08/09 were for radio revenue to dip 4%, television 9% and newspapers by 11%.

Richter continued, saying that television networks had lowered their rates to ensure advertising quota was maintained, while radio had struggled to attract enough advertisers:

They [radio stations] have definitely got the retail dollars, but in tough economic times it seems like people go to what is safe and they know, and TV delivers that, Richter said.