The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today released statistical and financial summaries for Canada’s commercial radio stations.

Despite the worst global recession since the Great Depression, Canada's AM and FM radio stations managed to earn pretax profits of $319.4 million on $1.5 billion in revenue, the second most profitable year ever (after 2008) for the industry.

The report provides information on the sector’s revenues and expenditures for the broadcast year ending August 31, 2009.

The federal regulator reported that revenues and expenses declined for Canadian AM and FM radio station in 2009 with revenues falling 5.2% to $1.5 billion while expenses declined 1.7% to $1.2 billion.

FM Radio

In 2009, 23 new FM stations were added. Canada’s 495 FM radio stations generated over $1.2 billion in total revenues. Revenues for English-language FM stations dropped by 5.8% from the previous year to just under $1 billion, while their French-language counterparts generated $227 million, a slight increase from the year before. Ethnic FM stations’ revenues fell by 3.3% to $16 million.

AM radio

The number of AM stations continued to decline in 2009, ending with seven fewer AM stations than in the previous year. In 2009, Canada’s 149 AM radio stations generated just over $300 million. This represented a 7.4% decrease from the previous year. English-language AM stations’ revenues fell by almost 8% to $272 million, while their French-language counterparts decreased 8.5% to $11.6 million. Canada’s 11 ethnic AM stations experienced a slight increase in revenues to just over $22 million.

The data contained in the CRTC report were drawn from the annual financial returns of commercial radio stations and cover the period of September 1, 2008 to August 31, 2009. The complete report can be read here

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