The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

10 November 2005

Hosts Ranked In Two Categories


Al Off List, Limbaugh Syndicator Questions Talkers Survey

Ranking talk show hosts using differing methods, two lists are making big waves today.

Al Franken can't possibly be happy with the just-released 2005 Lycos Top Radio Hosts list, where he fell all the way out of the top 20, after ranking 10th in 2004.

Worse, Franken-related search activity fell 95% year-over-year!

Each year, Lycos ranks radio personalities based on Internet search enquiries. While that's certainly a novel approach to ranking popularity, it probably doesn't tell the whole story.

Oddly, while Franken vanished, Air America co-conspirator Janeane Garofalo made this year's list, in 12th place.

Could that interest actually be related to her recent "West Wing" television appearances? After all, her national radio ratings are one-third of Franken's.

Here's the rest of the top 20, according to Lycos:

1) Howard Stern (1st in the 2004 survey)
2) Rush Limbaugh (2)
3) Tom Joyner (7)
4) Bob & Tom (3)
5) Michael Savage (6)
6) Dr. Laura (8)
7) Art Bell (4)
8) Bill O'Reilly (13)
9) Larry King (14)
The Lycos 50 Daily Report10) Opie & Anthony (16)
11) Sean Hannity (5)
12) Janeane Garofalo (-)
13) Laura Ingraham (28)
14) David Lee Roth (-)
15) Don & Mike (-)
16) Paul Harvey (11)
17) Tom Leykis (12)
18) Kim Komando (-)
19) Mancow (9)
20) Tavis Smiley (29)

Also from the new Lycos story:

Mancow is the biggest loser this year, with a 109 percent drop in search interest, falling from number nine to number nineteen in search activity.

Of the three newcomers to last year's list, only Tom Leykis remains, while Al Franken and Lionel drop off the list completely.

Search activity for Franken dropped 95 percent over the past year.

Here's the 2004 list:

1. Howard Stern (1st in 2003 survey)
2. Rush Limbaugh (3)
3. Bob & Tom Show (-)
4. Art Bell (8)
5. Sean Hannity (13)
6. Michael Savage (-)
7. Tom Joyner (2)
8. Dr. Laura (10)
9. Mancow (12)
10. Al Franken (-)
11. Paul Harvey (11)
12. Tom Leykis (-)
13. Bill O'Reilly (6)
14. Larry King (14)
15. Clark Howard (7)
16. Opie and Anthony (9)
17. Glen Beck (-)
18. Coast To Coast AM- George Noory (4)
19. Jim Rome (19)
20. Lionel (-)

Of particular note for 2005: Art Bell, only occasionally still hosting Coast-to-Coast AM, manages to stay in the top 10. And because he'll soon take over for Howard Stern in a number of cities, David Lee Roth makes the survey this year.

Also, Laura Ingraham manages a huge jump, from 28th in 2004, to 13th this year.

While the Lycos list seems to have at least some basis in reality, another most likely doesn't.

Infuriating talk radio programmers and hosts seems to be the name of the game at Talkers Magazine, an industry trade publication covering talk radio. Twice annually, it publishes a list of the most popular syndicated radio hosts.

Why only national programs are ranked, nobody seems to know. And without a real basis for making audience determinations, the Talkers list appears very subjective in nature. It seems to be a guessing game:

Many in the industry have long placed little faith in the survey, but mainstream media outlets often quote from it, making it potentially damaging.

What's wrong with the list? It's the methodology, which relies on stations to supply individual performance information to Talkers editors. That makes it subject to incomplete and/or inaccurate data.

Some suspect the figures to be inflated for a number of hosts, while others may be understated.

Example: how could overnight host Doug Stephan, heard mostly on tiny stations, outpoll George Noory, who took over for Art Bell on "Coast-to-Coast AM" and still has a top-rated program?

Noory's affiliates are primarily major outlets, including WABC in New York City.

Another: how could liberal talker Stephanie Miller make the list, with a million supposed listeners? Let's see the proof.

And Limbaugh's figure appears too low, based on recent information we've seen.

The Radio Equalizer was curious how Limbaugh's syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks (there's actually no such thing as the EIB Network), felt about the results.

Premiere responded to our questions with this statement:

We have always questioned the legitimacy of their rankings.

We are not convinced they have access to the most current affiliate lineups and most importantly, access to accurate airtimes of these programs.

That information is key to the development of appropriate and accurate measurement of cume listenership on a national level.

Additionally, another necessary tool to creating such a ranking would be the effective application of Arbitron Nationwide data to an industry-accepted software program (Act 1) used by network radio.

Premiere also syndicates Glenn Beck and George Noory, among others.

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  • Had to re-post this because Brian insisted in starting a new post so his >1400 and dropping readers wouldn't see how easily I discredit him.
    Also kudos to my co-host Janeane, for coming in one ahead of crazy eyes ingrham in the lycos survey--- aprops because we wax her ass head to head in nyc- even though we don't have the cume because of a lower signal. You know this is true radioidotizer and you know this is really sam seder because i know this info.


    Lord knows I have tried to make this clear, but you do not listen!

    You. Are. Pathetic.

    I have told you everytime you email me I will post my response here.

    a. I do not care that your blog numbers have plumetted.

    b. You offer me nothing. I do not "need me (you) as a foil". And

    c. You are not "worthy" of being my foil. Why? You have no positions that are defensible by argument. You "report" on Air America, but you have no stories-- your "scandal" has disappeared.

    Liz Winstead's suit is total bull(see her prior suits v. past employers)- and obviously AAR has nothing to hide or they wouldn't be willing to go through discovery for a 60k difference.

    Incidentally, how do you make money? You seem so fixated on revenue sources of the left- how do you make a living- you have no radio career because you are so bad at the medium and even your hallowed Time Magazine mention was derisive of you.

    You are a fool and a loser.

    Stop. Emailing. Me. With. Your. Pathetic. Offers.

    is that clear?

    and p.s. good luck trying to convince people that i am an imposter- so you don't look like a fool.

    By samseder, at 2:22 PM

    This is getting tiresome.

    Again, this is not Sam Seder, this joke is really stale.

    By Brian Maloney, at 2:59 PM

    By Blogger samseder, at 10 November, 2005 20:36  

  • We know you're an imposter because you tried to pretend to be several other Air America personalities before settling on Seder.

    If you really were Seder, I'd have some fun with this, but the fake Seder is even more boring than the real one.

    For the readers who wondered: the real Seder is Janeane Garofalo's co-host.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 10 November, 2005 20:45  

  • How about Err America's Latest ratings in Albuquerque:

    WABQ from a 2.4 to a 1.6

    Looks like it's time to remove AAR content and put on some local talent. Which, btw, seems to be the only way AAR's gains in the ratings :-)

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 10 November, 2005 21:28  

  • Err America just announced that they will soon be heard in Ely Minnesota!!! On WELY!!! Take a look at the type of station these idiots are claiming as affliates:

    It's laughable!! Give Western Minnesota back her oldies station you corporate whores!!!

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 10 November, 2005 22:13  

  • Hurry up and catch WELY's live stream before the format changes from golden oldies to liberal has-beens:

    By Blogger Lidsville, at 10 November, 2005 22:16  

  • You've got to be kidding. In your mind, the number of searches on a deadbeat search engine indicates popularity, but a survey of radio stations is meaningless? Maybe if Al coerced a maid to engage in drug trafficing, his numbers would go up.

    If you believe that searches is indicates reality, then Google "miserable+failure"

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 11 November, 2005 04:15  

  • "Mancow is the biggest loser this year, with a 109 percent drop in search interest.."

    How can the number of searchers drop more than 100 percent? Once it hits zero there are no more
    searchers involved.

    By Blogger Fred, at 11 November, 2005 06:59  

  • Fred:

    I agree 100%, I see that all the time in the media. Don't know how they calculate a "109%" drop.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 11 November, 2005 10:51  

  • The closest I can come to a "109%" drop is by taking the range between 9 and 19 (10) and dividing it by 9, resulting in 1.11 or 111% They must be doing that same calculation with the actual search numbers. But, yes, it is possible in statistics to increase or decrease over 100%

    That said, this Lycos thing is not equal to Arbitron ratings, upon which Air America barely registers, if all.

    As far as Ely goes, Minnesota's Iron Range is dyed-in-the-wool blue, but I guarantee they'd get a bigger audience by picking up syndication of Garage Logic, rather than enabling Air America and inflicting their bile upon the sane and down-to-earth people in Arrowhead Country.

    Brian, why do you feed the trolls?

    By Blogger Robosquirrel, at 11 November, 2005 12:16  

  • The 12+ rankings are interesting...but what about those coveted 24 - 55 year-old male listner ratings?

    This is the second time I've seen the 12+ stats posted somewhere, but I've yet to see 24-55 male...

    Maybe those ratings support this type of post less?

    By Blogger One Funny Guckert!, at 11 November, 2005 12:58  

  • Wow - rapidly noticing a trend here, Brian...

    every time I've asked for you to prove your assertions (that the notarized Franken signature had any relevance to the case you laud, for example), you are completely silent.

    Not only could you not hold a job in Seattle radio, but you dive deeper and deeper into your own pool of lack of credibility - not surprising, with a partner/comarade like Malkin...

    Great job you're doing! Your "reporting" holds up to so little scrutiny, you don't even bother to support your own claims with facts...

    By Blogger One Funny Guckert!, at 11 November, 2005 17:16  

  • Guckert:

    How's the black Lexus running? Always good for the power you need to get up that extra-steep Queen Anne Hill.

    I didn't respond because you obviously hadn't been following our previous work, where we did outline the entire Franken controversy involving the notarized document.

    It's in the archives, do a search.

    By Blogger Brian Maloney, at 12 November, 2005 00:03  

  • Oh, yeah, Frankenberry is going into free-fall! He's starting the long slow circle of the bowl!

    Just like the liberals!

    Hey, libs - did Fitzmas suck, or what?!!!

    ha ha ha ha

    The dumb-o-craps are left with a leader such as the fast, bloated drunkard Teddy the K who will make a great pinata when Dubya and Karl get back in the groove, like they are starting to again - while Hairball America number continue to go down - Dubyas are starting to go UP!

    How's it feel to be irrelevant?

    ha ha ha ha

    By Blogger Tom C, at 13 November, 2005 00:22  

  • I think the "109% drop" is just an example of mathematical ignorance.
    If you have, say, 90 searches one week and 45 the next, you have a drop of 50% from your STARTING POINT. However, they say you have 45 searchers now and you lost 45 searchers, so you lost 100 percent. This is just wrong.

    By Blogger Fred, at 14 November, 2005 13:32  

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