Local Radio and TV: Helping Drive the United States Economy

The commercial local broadcast industry – terrestrial radio and television stations – is critically important to the United States economy as a whole and to local economies in particular. Local radio and television’s key role in the dissemination of entertainment and local programming is well established. Its important value to the national economy is often overlooked, and in many ways taken for granted. This analysis quantifies some of the core ways commercial local radio and television stations enhance economic productivity, efficiency and growth. Only local commercial broadcast radio and television stations are included in this analysis.

Results of this study show:

  • $1.03 trillion of Gross Domestic Product originating in the commercial local radio and television industry annually
  • 2.28 million jobs attributable to the local radio and television industry on an annual basis

The commercial local radio and television broadcast industry is important not only because of its direct employment, estimated at 312,000 jobs nationwide, but because of the industries and economic activity it supports. Through advertising, the industry provides consumers with critical economic data on the price and features of products and services. To businesses, the industry provides a platform for delivering messages about innovations and efficiencies directly to consumers. An unintended benefit of business to consumer advertising is that other businesses receive the same information and are prodded to adopt technologies and efficiencies to remain competitive; this free competitive intelligence is immensely valuable to consumers and to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Woods & Poole

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