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(March 27, 2001) -- National radio advertising revenue was down 20% in February compared with the impressive 22% increase witnessed last February, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau. Local radio revenue fared less worse, down only 2% in February from the same month in 2000. Combined local and national sales decreased 6% for the month, based on the RAB's index of more than 100 markets across the country.

RAB President and CEO Gary Fries believes local radio -- the biggest share of the industry's ad pie -- will continue to be more stable than national. He predicts that total radio revenue will pick up in the second half of the year and return to posting increases by year's end, once the industry get passed the first two quarters, during which radio would be hard-pressed to exceed last year's fist-half boom. -- Cara Beardi

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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