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Local broadcast industry a strong driver of national GDP

The local radio and TV broadcast industry generates $1.23 trillion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 2.52 million jobs through direct and stimulative effects on the national economy.

The new numbers come from a study by Woods & Poole and BIA Advisory Services, which examines the broadcast industry’s impact on the economy through direct employment, its ripple effect on other industries, and as an advertising medium for reaching consumers.

The study found that direct employment from local commercial broadcasting, which includes jobs at local radio and TV stations and in advertising and programming, is estimated at more than 314,000 jobs, generating more than $55 billion annually in economic impact. Broadcast radio generates 121,000 jobs which results in more than $21 billion in GDP. Broadcast TV accounts for over 193,000 jobs, as well as more than $34 billion in GDP.

“From trusted local and national news, live sporting events, and popular network programming to critical emergency information, broadcasters provide the content Americans rely upon each day. These local stations are also an engine for economic health and development keeping local dollars within our hometowns across the country,” NAB President and CEO Curtis LeGeyt said in a release detailing the study. “America’s broadcasters provide jobs, connect businesses with new customers through advertising, and stimulate growth.”

The study also examined the ripple effect employment in broadcasting has on local economies through the consumption of goods and services by industry employees. Local broadcasting has a downstream impact on other industries of nearly $139 billion in GDP and more than 784,000 jobs, the report concluded.

“A job in local television and radio broadcast stations multiplies itself by helping create jobs in construction, farming, mining, state and local government, and all other economic sectors,” the study noted. “The workers in the industries supplying goods and services to local television and radio broadcast workers in turn consume goods and services.”

The study finds that local broadcasting’s largest impact on the American economy stems from the advertising of goods and services that stimulate economic activity. Local broadcast radio and TV advertising generated $1.03 billion in GDP and supports 1.42 million jobs. More than $630 billion in GDP and 875,000 jobs are attributed to the stimulative effect of broadcast television, and nearly $400 billion in GDP and over 540,000 jobs are attributed to radio.

“The primary role of broadcast television and radio is reducing the cost of product information through advertising,” the study revealed. “In this way, broadcast television and radio stations have their most significant impact on economic growth. Reaching all United States households, local broadcast television and radio stations provide consumers with highly valued marketplace information and businesses with immediate economic and competitive intelligence.” Inside Radio

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