iheartMEDIA logo 2019

BIA Advisory has crunched the numbers for radio’s top billing groups and to no one’s surprise, iHeartMedia sits in the top spot in 2021, with 865 AM/FM stations in 150 markets bringing in $2.2 billion in revenue. That’s up from $1.97 billion with 865 stations in 2020, but down from $2.56 billion (on 858 stations) in pre-pandemic 2019.

Second place belongs is Audacy with 231 AM/FM stations in 47 markets and a $1.345 billion revenue haul. That’s up from $1.2 billion in 2020 when the company formerly known as Entercom had the same number of stations, but down from nearly $1.6 billion in pre-pandemic 2019, when it carried a 235-station portfolio.

Cumulus Media is in a “distant third” in revenue, BIA says, with 407 AM/FM stations in 85 markets. Cumulus billed $481 million in revenue in 2021, up from $470 million in 2020 (when it owned 415 stations), but down from $531 million in 2019 (425 stations).

Hubbard Radio which owns the top billing station in America (WTOP-FM Washington), is in fourth with 54 stations in 10 markets and a $252 million revenue haul. BIA says Hubbard is the largest privately owned radio group owner in 2021. Hispanic media giant TelevisaUnivision is fifth with $245.8 million in 2021 radio revenues from 57 stations.

Rounding out the top ten are Beasley Media Group ($241.2 million, 63 stations), Townsquare Media ($212.0 million, 321 stations), Cox Media Group ($210.8 million, 54 stations), Urban One ($196.2 million, 53 stations) and Bonneville International ($145.3 million, 22 stations).

Seven of the top ten radio owners based on 2021 revenue are publicly traded, while three are privately held. TelevisaUnivision is the top billing Spanish-language radio broadcaster. Bonneville International, No. 10 on the list, owns the fewest number of stations in the fewest number of markets, while top-ranked iHeartMedia owns the most stations in the most markets on the list.