The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

04 May 2006

Air America Ratings

FUTILITY

After Two Years, Few Bright Spots For Air America




On the heels of last week's devastating New York City ratings release, which saw Air America Radio sink like a rock from already-low audience levels, subsequent news from elsewhere hasn't looked better. And in some cases, the results are even worse.

With data for two full years of programming now available, future liberal talk radio growth seems less likely than ever. Looking at markets across the country, only two cities continue to appear promising: Portland, Oregon and increasingly, Seattle.

To survive, Air America needs dozens of Portland and Seattle clones. After all this time, where are they? Stuck in line at Starbucks?

A round-up:


Despite the launch of a new live-and-local morning show featuring former mayor Willie Brown, San Francisco's KQKE-AM held steady at just a 1.2 listener share in the nation's fourth-biggest radio metro area. Over the past four ratings periods, KQKE has shown no overall audience growth.


In Washington, DC, the eighth-largest radio market, Air America affiliate WWRC-AM failed to generate any measurable audience figures.


Tenth-ranked Atlanta saw its AAR station, WWAA-AM, take second-to-last place, for a 0.5 overall audience share. The station is soon expected to drop its liberal format.


In Boston, now 11th-biggest, AAR's two combined AM stations also took a 0.5, to tie for second-to-last among all listeners 12 and older.


In Seattle (#14), KPTK-AM continued to grow, rising to a 2.8 share from a 1.4 in last year's spring book. Some have speculated that KPTK's gains have come at the expense of KIRO-AM, which features a mixed lineup with some liberal shows.


KXXT-AM/ Phoenix's (#15) last book before converting to religious programming saw Air America's programming fall from 1.2, to a 0.7 overall figure.


KTNF-AM/ Minneapolis (#16) continues to struggle, now down to a 1.0 share for listeners 12 and older. Only four stations in the market were ranked lower.


In San Diego (#17), ratings for AAR station KLSD-AM collapsed, from a healthy 3.1 in the Fall 2005 Arbitron Ratings Survey to a 1.6 now. KLSD's previously strong numbers now appear to have been a one-time fluke.


KKZN/ Denver (#22), despite featuring a live and local morning show, continued its long slide. Over the past four quarterly periods, KKZN has dropped from a 2.0 to a 1.4.


Portland's KPOJ-AM continues as AAR's strongest performer, in sixth place with a stable 4.1 overall share of the audience in the country's 24th-largest market.


Other than as a vehicle for political campaigning in this year's elections, why should Air America continue to function? If it can't make money and isn't seeing audience growth, what's the point?

What's quite obvious: admitting defeat now means damage to the "cause", meaning this sick puppy must continue to suffer. With this kind of weak performance, other radio format experiments would have shut down at least six months, if not a year, earlier.

And yet, even now, a few diehards continue to spin the network's results.

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21 Comments:

  • SPIN????

    Would you care to explain how

    "KPTK Seattle up 22% since fall book, and up 86% since last winter's book. Other talk stations above them in the ratings were flat on a year over year basis."

    is less of a factual analysis of the data than

    "KPTK-AM continued to grow, rising to a 2.8 share from a 1.4 in last year's spring book. Some have speculated that KPTK's gains have come at the expense of KIRO-AM, which features a mixed lineup with some liberal shows.

    By Blogger Ezsuds81, at 04 May, 2006 07:33  

  • I anxiously await the NYT stories promoting this pathetic enterprise as "the answer to Rush" again...

    Yup. Those newsies get it right every tiime. They're especially good at predicting the future. Remember when Bode Miller was poised to take the world by storm, according to Time magazine? How about when tens of thousands of our troops were going to die upon invading Iraq? How about the 2004 election (which we were told would be an unquestionable Bush defeat), in which (after "truth to power" was spoken) we learned that exit polls suddenly became more important indicators of public will than electoral votes?

    And what about the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls club? What do they think of AA's meteoric rise (hype) and collapse (reality)?

    Oh yeah, but AA and their friends in the newspapers know their stuff, alright.

    By Blogger Good Lieutenant, at 04 May, 2006 07:42  

  • As I've mentioned before. The signal in DC is attrocious. They have a big potential market in Northern Virginia (they keep returning Jim Moran to Congress) but you can't hear it across the Potomac.

    By Blogger eLarson, at 04 May, 2006 07:56  

  • Looking at year-over-year ratings differences isn't necessarily the best way to evaluate the performance of a politically-oriented talk radio station. Consider that the Winter 2005 ratings period came just after the national elections in 2004. Most talk radio programming enjoyed good ratings in this period (something of a "holdover" effect), which makes the Winter 2006 ratings look much worse by comparison as there weren't any national elections to draw additional listener interest.

    That's why I think it's better to average station ratings over rolling four-quarter periods for stations featuring talk radio programming. It's easier to pick up actual trends in the ratings while avoiding political event-related "seasonality".

    That said, AAR's ratings simply aren't improving and do show signs of erosion in larger markets, most notably New York City. Considering that roughly half of the network's audience may be found in just five cities, that's not a positive business situation.

    By Blogger Ironman, at 04 May, 2006 09:37  

  • Dang that right wing media for giving AAR's massive, repeated, and consistent failures even the tiniest fraction of attention they gave AAR before it started.
    -=Mike

    By Blogger MikeinSC, at 04 May, 2006 10:44  

  • shhhhh. I have a secret for you Brian the 12+ rating do not mean a thing in the industry, ZERO, NOTHING, DOES NOT MATTER. A.A. is a station that sells their Time spent listening numbers, and young demos, not their 12+.
    You seriously are mentally sick (ad, hom attack I know)
    BTW, Christian propaganda network Salem does a lot worse than A.A. uou keep obsessing over it & A.A picks up a new affiliate or 2 every other week. What is your problem, is it the fact that they are "liberals"? or is it the "entertainment value"? I find them far more entertaining than Janet Parcel, Matt Drudge, Michael Medved. The worst A.A host is more entertaining and engaging than a right wing hack from Salem. Yes, Limbaugh has an entertainment value as does Savage and Hannity, but the vast majority of right wing hosts, recite tired mantra, playbook bumpersticker slogans and hate that divides America. I live in NYC, and I know far more people who listen to Air America than the Salem network, or Limbaugh and Hannity for that matter. Deal with it, many people listen to A.A. Most right wing radio listeners are over 60 anyway. THAT IS A FACT
    As a mattwer of fact, listening to right wing radio in my youth, turned me into a leftist. I could not stand being talked down to, could not stand the hate, and blame "liberals" mentality. If I never listened to Rush, Grant and Medved, when I was younger ,I might have actually been a Republican. Thank you right wing hosts, for waking me up and turning me into exactly what you hate. Your hatred , turned me into what you hate.

    By Blogger rightwingwhiner, at 04 May, 2006 12:15  

  • Shhhh whiner, i have a secret for you. You are a partisan raving hack. 12 and OLDER, that means, almost EVERYONE. O.K., now that I've disagreed with you you can pretend like you know me and understand my motives. Tell me how I'm an right wing robot, lay my soul bare to myself, I am in denial. I loved your recent rant about a fellows attitude towards drugs and his voting record before he told you he was for legalization. You really do know everything.


    If you want to see raving hatred, read your posts here on this site.
    Notice the tone others take, and the angry accusatory tone you take.

    If you want to see denial of reality and partisan fervor which rivals Savage, read your own posts.

    And by the way, to save you the embarrasment, I am not a Republican, so don't waste your time laying all your silly stereotypes on me, although a genius of your magnitude surely has me all figured out from these few paragraphs I have written.

    cheers, geofferygellineck

    By Blogger geofferygellineck, at 04 May, 2006 13:44  

  • I am still waiting to find out when they are going to jail or returning the tax-payers money to NYC for shutting down that place...

    Nice work you're doing. Keep it up. Hey, I don't really care if they did well. I just hate thieves.

    By Blogger Rosemary, at 04 May, 2006 13:57  

  • whiner, if you're really in NYC, explain this to me: in January, when Stern left K-Rock for satellite, roughly 600K listeners hit the morning terrestrial radio market--a huge chunk of them part of the lusted after 25-54 demographic--and AAR's overall share in the same demo dropped like a stone, from 1.5 to 0.7.

    That you know far more people that listen to AAR than Salem or WABC is like that Kael chick from the NY Times being shocked when Nixon stomped McGovern in 1972, unable to understand it because "no one I know voted for him."

    You're living in a bubble; the Arbitron numbers reflect what's going on outside.

    By Blogger TC, at 04 May, 2006 14:32  

  • The worst A.A host is more entertaining

    You should not be so derogatory of Randi. I am sure her mother loves her.

    By Blogger Seriouslyunserious, at 04 May, 2006 15:09  

  • How about when tens of thousands of our troops were going to die upon invading Iraq?

    EXCUSE ME THE DEATH TOLL IS CLOSE TO 3000 ALREADY, DOES NOT MATTER TO YOU, YOU ARE A COWARDLY RIGHT WING CHEERLEADER. (YEP ITS AN AD HOM ARTTACK)
    How about the 2004 election (which we were told would be an unquestionable Bush defeat), in which (after "truth to power" was spoken) we learned that exit polls suddenly became more important
    indicators of public will than electoral votes?
    MMMM..... ON AIR AMERICA, ONLY RANDI RHODES WAS SAID IT WAS AN UNQUESTIONABLE BUSH DEFEAT, AND NOBODY ELSE. IT SEEMS TO ME YOU DESPISE DEMOCRACY. EXIT POLLS HAVE WORKED FOR CLOSE TO 100 YEARS, UNTIL BUSH WON IN 2000 AND 2004, OF CORSE YOU WOULDEN'T ADDRESS THAT FACT IN A MILLION YEARS. YOU ARE A LOUSY RIGHT WING DEMOCRACY HATING ENABLER. (YEP, AN AD.HOM ATTACK, I DO NOT CARE)
    SPEAKING ABOUT THE 2004 ELECTON, YOU WILL RUN FROM THE FACT THAT 3 OHIO BOARD OF ELECTION WORKERS WERE INDICTED FOR TAMPERING WITH THE RECOUNT, BY PRE-SCREENING COUNTIES AND NOT RE-COUNTING ANY COUNTY WHERE THERE WERE MORE VOTES THAN VOTERS, ALL DIEBOLD COUNTIES, ALL COUNTIES THAT THE BUSH WON.
    NAAAAA..... WE WON'T HEAR A PEEP ABOUT THAT, AND SPARE ME THE "DEMS SLASHED TIRES" STORY. I KNOW YOUR RNC TALKING POINTS BY HEART. PLAYBOOK SAYS "WHEN CONFRONTED WITH VOTER FRAUD IN OHIO CLAIMS BY LIBERALS, QUICKLY BRING UP THE SLASHED TIRES".

    YOU CAN NOT DEBATE ME AND WIN, I'M ARMED WITH THE R.N.C PLAYBOOK TOO.

    I HAVE COME TO THIS SAD "ANTI-AIR AMERICA" BOARD TO BE EVERY LAST RIGHT WINGER'S (ALL 5 OF YOU) WORST NIGHTMARE.

    IF YOU CLOWNS CAN USE AD. HOM ATTACKS SO CAN I.
    IF YOU CLOWNS CAN SAY "LIBS HATE AMERICA" , SO CAN AND SIMPLY REPLACE THE WORD LIBERAl, with RIGHT WINGER.

    THIS IS WHY YOU NEO-CLOWNS HATE AIR AMERICA, THEY DO TO THE RIGHT EXACTLY WHAT THE RIGHT WING ENABLERS LIKE LIMBAUGH AND COLUTER DO TO THE LEFT.
    NEO-CLOWNS CAN NOT HANDLE IT. THEY WANT TO DISH OUT ATTACKS, AND NOT EXPECT THE SAME IN RETURN. WHEN IT IS DONE IN RETURN, NEO-CLOWNS WHINE LIKE LITTLE BABIES AND CREATE WHINING BLOGS LIKE THIS. IF YOU DO NOT WANT HATE, DON'T START.

    By Blogger rightwingwhiner, at 04 May, 2006 15:14  

  • rightwingwhiner remains my favorite person on this blog.

    By Blogger liberal outlaw, at 04 May, 2006 15:28  

  • rightwingwhiner: "I know far more people who listen to Air America than the Salem network, or Limbaugh and Hannity for that matter."

    I'm reminded of the apocryphal Pauline Kael line, "Nobody I know voted for Nixon."

    By Blogger James, at 04 May, 2006 16:18  

  • I have a secret for you Brian the 12+ rating do not mean a thing in the industry, ZERO, NOTHING, DOES NOT MATTER. A.A. is a station that sells their Time spent listening numbers, and young demos, not their 12+.

    How one sells atrocious numbers is always amusing. If they had ACTUAL audience size, they'd sell that.

    They lack that.

    What is your problem, is it the fact that they are "liberals"? or is it the "entertainment value"?

    "Entertainment value"? When Franken's painfully weak show is the best --- BY FAR --- on the network, you have a problem.

    find them far more entertaining than Janet Parcel, Matt Drudge, Michael Medved.

    As do I. But compared to shows I don't actively loathe, they are lacking horribly.

    I live in NYC, and I know far more people who listen to Air America than the Salem network, or Limbaugh and Hannity for that matter.

    A left-winger hangs out with a bunch of left-wingers.

    I am shocked by this. TRULY shocked.

    Deal with it, many people listen to A.A. Most right wing radio listeners are over 60 anyway. THAT IS A FACT

    I note that the only proof of its factual nature is your statement that it is a fact.

    I suppose if you had more, you'd provide more.

    I could not stand being talked down to, could not stand the hate, and blame "liberals" mentality.

    So, you DON'T mind the hate or the "Blame Bush" mentality on AAR?

    Got it.

    Your hatred , turned me into what you hate.

    Somebody laden with hate?

    How about when tens of thousands of our troops were going to die upon invading Iraq?

    EXCUSE ME THE DEATH TOLL IS CLOSE TO 3000 ALREADY, DOES NOT MATTER TO YOU, YOU ARE A COWARDLY RIGHT WING CHEERLEADER. (YEP ITS AN AD HOM ARTTACK)


    You do a lot of ad hominem attacks.

    You also made a point that could not conceivably be less relevant.

    How about the 2004 election (which we were told would be an unquestionable Bush defeat), in which (after "truth to power" was spoken) we learned that exit polls suddenly became more important
    indicators of public will than electoral votes?


    Yes, because left wing sites trying to intentionally skew the polls is MORE important than ACTUAL votes.

    Even Jim Jones knew not to drink his own Kool-Aid.

    MMMM..... ON AIR AMERICA, ONLY RANDI RHODES WAS SAID IT WAS AN UNQUESTIONABLE BUSH DEFEAT, AND NOBODY ELSE. IT SEEMS TO ME YOU DESPISE DEMOCRACY. EXIT POLLS HAVE WORKED FOR CLOSE TO 100 YEARS, UNTIL BUSH WON IN 2000 AND 2004, OF CORSE YOU WOULDEN'T ADDRESS THAT FACT IN A MILLION YEARS. YOU ARE A LOUSY RIGHT WING DEMOCRACY HATING ENABLER. (YEP, AN AD.HOM ATTACK, I DO NOT CARE)

    Care to actually reveal a listing of what exit polls had and what the FINAL totals were?

    The Modern Left: Democracy should be subservient to polling.

    SPEAKING ABOUT THE 2004 ELECTON, YOU WILL RUN FROM THE FACT THAT 3 OHIO BOARD OF ELECTION WORKERS WERE INDICTED FOR TAMPERING WITH THE RECOUNT, BY PRE-SCREENING COUNTIES AND NOT RE-COUNTING ANY COUNTY WHERE THERE WERE MORE VOTES THAN VOTERS, ALL DIEBOLD COUNTIES, ALL COUNTIES THAT THE BUSH WON.

    Cuyahoga County alone.

    And some ACTUAL proof would be nice. Not the demented rambling from the swampland of left-wing blogs.

    NAAAAA..... WE WON'T HEAR A PEEP ABOUT THAT, AND SPARE ME THE "DEMS SLASHED TIRES" STORY. I KNOW YOUR RNC TALKING POINTS BY HEART. PLAYBOOK SAYS "WHEN CONFRONTED WITH VOTER FRAUD IN OHIO CLAIMS BY LIBERALS, QUICKLY BRING UP THE SLASHED TIRES".

    "Never mind Democrats active attempt to suppress the vote or to disenfranchise military votes --- we have theories, dammit!!!"

    I HAVE COME TO THIS SAD "ANTI-AIR AMERICA" BOARD TO BE EVERY LAST RIGHT WINGER'S (ALL 5 OF YOU) WORST NIGHTMARE.

    You mean a dull person?

    IF YOU CLOWNS CAN USE AD. HOM ATTACKS SO CAN I.

    You've done nothing BUT that. I actually tried being polite to you and am STILL more polite towards you than you are to anybody else.

    THIS IS WHY YOU NEO-CLOWNS HATE AIR AMERICA, THEY DO TO THE RIGHT EXACTLY WHAT THE RIGHT WING ENABLERS LIKE LIMBAUGH AND COLUTER DO TO THE LEFT.

    So you support "hate" --- only as long as it's on your side.

    Pretty consistent of you.

    I find you downright horridorable.
    -=Mike

    By Blogger MikeinSC, at 04 May, 2006 23:17  

  • Should liberal outlaw be renamed rightwingwhinerkoshi?

    It is instructive that RWW will take any tack to avoid talking about the points of Brian's analysis on AirAmerica's ratings slide.

    And as to whether AA bills its time by 12+ listenership, time spent listening, people streaming, phase of the moon, or number of wingwhangs seen at the last Barney Frank Annual Streaker's Convention, companies looking to advertise generally look at the Arbitron books - something they can look at and touch and feel themselves rather than being told by a sales rep - as an objective standard of a station's reach to potential consumers.

    And quite simply, the Arbitron books for AirAmerica range somewhere between stagnant and suck, outside of KPOJ/Portland and KPTK/Seattle.

    Brian's hypothesis about KPTK's audience improvement secondary to problems at KIRO may be a bit of a stretch, IMHO. However, TCLynch was spot on when he linked Howard Stern going off-air at K-Rock, with WLIB seemingly unable to pick up ANY of that terrestrial listenership, even though that might be a fertile ground from which AirAmerica could harvest.

    Facts are difficult things, and RWW seems to have a difficult time acknowledging them. Perhaps if he were to release the 'caps lock' function from time to time it would help his reasoning abilities. Shouting bullcrap only means you are putting out bullcrap at a higher volume, not changing the bullcrap into reason or fact.

    By Blogger JD, at 04 May, 2006 23:21  

  • What a load of BS. Brian writes:

    "KXXT-AM/ Phoenix's (#15) last book before converting to religious programming saw Air America's programming fall from 1.2, to a 0.7 overall figure."

    Duh, the station was off the air March 1. That would account for 1/3rd of its winter book.

    By Blogger Dick Tuck, at 05 May, 2006 02:55  

  • The station being taken off the air somehow is a defense for AAR's horrible ratings?

    Interesting.
    -=Mike

    By Blogger MikeinSC, at 05 May, 2006 10:14  

  • Mr. Tuck said -

    "KXXT-AM/ Phoenix's (#15) last book before converting to religious programming saw Air America's programming fall from 1.2, to a 0.7 overall figure."

    Duh, the station was off the air March 1."


    You're absolutely right, Mr. Tuck, that sure was a "Duh" on Brian's part. He should have, obviously, said that the programming share for KXXT-AM fell to zero......

    By Blogger Lokki, at 05 May, 2006 12:44  

  • Columbus, OH: Air America affiliate WTPG's ratings up 31 percent from last summer, when Cincinnati Reds baseball dominated schedule. Overall ratings up 18 percent from fall figures.

    Akron, OH: Air America affiliate WARF saw a 50 percent increase in ratings from last book, with help from local talk show veteran Joe Finan sandwiched between Stephanie Miller and Franken.

    Clear Channel owns both stations.

    By Blogger QEd, at 05 May, 2006 20:17  

  • To All,

    I have been keeping a spreadsheet on the RadioAndRecords stats for “Err America’s” ratings since Fall 2004. Here is a summary of that review:

    From Fall 2004 – Election time frame:
    Overall Top 50 market share shrunk from 1.3 to 1.1
    Red State (Republican) saw shrinkage from 1.2 to 0.8
    Blue State (Democrat) saw growth from 1.2 to 1.3

    The overall rank in those markets averages 24.6
    Red State average market rank is 24.7
    Blue State average market rank is 24.5

    From Winter 2005 :
    Overall Top 50 market share shrunk from 1.2 to 1.1
    Red State (Republican) saw shrinkage from 1.0 to 0.8
    Blue State (Democrat) holds steady at 1.3

    These stats include the higher rating for KXXT in Phoenix rather than KPHX which was unrated. They do not include Cleveland’s WTAM because it is a sports talk station with Jerry Springer thown in – and he was subsequently thrown out. Awaiting a potential boost from West Palm Beach and a marginal rating from Austin.

    These stats seem to imply a stability in Democratic States with a market rank of 24th and a market share of 1.3.

    However, if the intent of Err America is to convert the great unwashed than they are losing ground rather rapidly. How can the aggressive Liberal agenda (as pressed by Err America) attain electorial victories when their message is losing importance in the Red States? How long will George Soros and the chap from RealPlayer fund something that is not converting souls to the religion of militant Liberalism?

    By Blogger Boghie, at 06 May, 2006 14:01  

  • Whatever the ratings, I enjoy listening to Air America. I listen every day. It's such a nice change from the right-wing hate on the other talk stations.

    By Blogger Haik Bedrosian, at 12 May, 2006 09:49  

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