Study: TV & Radio Broadcasters Significant Contributors To Nation’s Economy

New research from Woods & Poole Economics with support from BIA Advisory Services show stations generate $1.23 trillion in economic activity and provide 2.52 million jobs.

The local commercial broadcast television and radio industry generates $1.23 trillion of Gross Domestic Product and 2.52 million jobs through direct and stimulative effect on the American economy, according to a new study by Woods & Poole Economics with support from BIA Advisory Services.

The analysis examines broadcasting’s impact on the economy through direct employment, its ripple effect on other industries and as an advertising medium for messaging consumers. Radio and television stations’ influence on the national economy, as well as information by state, is provided in the study.

NAB President-CEO Curtis LeGeyt said: “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. America’s broadcasters provide jobs, connect businesses with new customers through advertising and stimulate growth.”

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

“Industries as varied as telecommunications, public utilities, manufacturing, transportation and retail trade provide inputs into the production of local television and radio broadcasting,” the study noted. “When measured with a technical input-output analysis an additional 99,000 jobs are supported in other industries because of the goods and services requirements of local television and radio broadcast stations.”

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 ripple effect on other industries of nearly $139 billion in GDP and more than 784,000 jobs, the report concluded.


“The income from local television and radio broadcast jobs flows through the economy creating additional jobs and income in various economic sectors,” said the study. “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 workers in the industries supplying goods and services to local television and radio broadcast workers in turn consume goods and services.”

Local broadcasting’s largest impact on the American economy stems from its role as a forum for advertising of goods and services that stimulates economic activity, Woods & Poole found. The study estimated local broadcast TV and radio 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 said. “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.”

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AIMTV says:

January 5, 2024 at 11:00 am

Indeed, broadcasters benefit the U.S. economy and society, especially compared to their counterparts in cable & social media. But there is room for improvement. AM (and some FM) Talk radio and so-called “religious” radio/TV stations in various markets often spread misinformation, disinformation, and political propaganda without a modicum of FCC oversight. In most cases, the so-called “religious” channels are thinly veiled political propaganda outlets that peddle their messages and avoid taxation—a literal wolf in sheep’s clothing. You cannot, or should not, be having it both ways. Also, FCC rules must be updated to reflect reality for required E/I programming, which is an open joke. If so many kids and teens are being served, why are all the ads targeted to old people?