Lew Dickey Calls iHeartRadio, Pandora 'Overblown'
September 19, 2011 at 3:32 AM (PT)
In an interview with CNBC, CUMULUS Chairman/CEO LEW DICKEY dismissed the concept that radio will suffer at the hands of new technologies and services, such as PANDORA and iHEARTRADIO, calling them "overblown."
"The stats prove a little bit different. Radio has 93% of listenership across the country, and that basically hasn’t changed for 40 years," said DICKEY. "So, the number of people listening to radio is actually at an all-time high as the population grows."
"Some of the stats -- have been a little overinflated," continued DICKEY. "The medium is extremely relevant -- it's local, it's digital, it's mobile, it’s social -- it really provides all of the great things that people are looking for in push content today on a local basis."
When CNBC asked about advertising, political content in 2012 is expected to "be very important," noted DICKEY. "We think political is going to be about a $350 million business for the industry."
Regarding the merger of CUMULUS and CITADEL, DICKEY summed up, "This is actually a de-leveraging transaction for us. We basically bought this company with CITADEL's balance sheet and put the two together. It ended up being a de-leveraging transaction for our shareholders, and we have a long-term capital structure."