Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Talk Radio: Not As Powerful As They Pretend To Be

Recently, they changed the way that they measure a radio shows popularity and the size of its radio audience, relying more on raw facts than a person's memory or answering as they think they ought to.

The ratings game has already changed a lot already. Erik Gunn from Milwaukee Magazine does a good job at spelling it out, much to Charlie Sykes' chagrin:
His discussion of the declining ratings at properties of the Journal Sentinel's corporate sibling, the Journal Broadcast Group (WTMJ-AM and WLWK-FM), is much more muted. We noticed, however, that Belling's chief rival, Charlie Sykes, ranks at No. 4 among morning shows (though Dudek didn't mention him by name).

"If you find a pattern in all this, let me know," Dudek concludes in his column. Well, here's one:

The audience for politically conservative talk radio is actually pretty small. The other stations that duke it out for listeners are variations on pop music - sliced and diced for specific segments of taste and demographics.

Does this suggest that perhaps the "power" of talk radio is just a bit less than the conventional wisdom holds?

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