The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

05 November 2009

LA Times Slams Dr Laura Using Suspect 'Facts'


LA Times Uses Faulty Analysis To Attack Dr Laura


If you thought Dr Laura Schlessinger had finally fallen off of the left's radar screen, today's Los Angeles Times puts that idea to rest. Their longstanding inability to completely destroy her career means "progressives" must still deal with this unfinished business.

In an analysis of just-released area radio ratings for October, the paper has lobbed grenades at the longtime syndicated advice talker, using her recent move from KFI to KFWB as the excuse.

In August, Schlessinger was abruptly removed from her longtime home at KFI under strange circumstances (its internal office politics are legendarily dysfunctional, almost without equal in the radio business), but quickly found a new flagship as rival KFWB-AM switched from all-news to talk.

During her long run at KFI, she helped the station deliver big ratings, as documented in previous EQ coverage from 2008 and 2006.

With ratings now available for the first month of KFWB's new talk format, the Times saw an opportunity to pounce on conservative radio programming and took it:

Even with its drop, KFI far outpaced its talk rivals. KABC-AM (790) ranked 22nd, KRLA-AM (1110) was 36th, KTLK-AM (1150) was tied for 41st and newcomer KFWB-AM (980) was tied for 38th.

October was the first full month of ratings for KFWB under the new format that the former all-news station unveiled with great fanfare in September, boasting that it had lured advice guru Laura Schlessinger away from KFI to anchor its midday schedule.

Despite the presence of Schlessinger and such other experienced hosts as Laura Ingraham and Michael Smerconish, KFWB not only has not gained traction, it actually has lost listeners. The CBS-owned station has ebbed from a 1% share in August to 0.8% in September and 0.7% in October.

And Schlessinger, a ratings powerhouse at KFI, is an also-ran at KFWB so far. In October, during the weekday period of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that covers the time she's on the air, the station tied for 32nd place with a 1% share of audience.

KNX-AM (1070), the sister CBS station that now has the all-news field to itself, tied for 15th in October with a 2.8% share, much the same as it has scored for at least the last six months.

In the 6-10 a.m. "morning drive" period that is radio's prime time, KFI maintained its lock on No. 1, with Bill Handel and Rush Limbaugh combining to attract 6.2% of the audience. KIIS' Ryan Seacrest was second with a 5.1% share, followed by Gary Bryan on KRTH, Mark Thompson & Brian Phelps on KLOS-FM (95.5) and Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo on Spanish-language KSCA-FM (101.9).

But the Times used generalized data to reach its "also-ran" conclusion. More specific breakdowns reveal the exact opposite conclusion, as Dr Laura has in just one month sent a portion of KFI's audience packing and headed straight for KFWB.

From noon to 3pm, in key demographic groups, here are the real numbers:

Persons 25-54:

KFWB up 66.7% (1.5 audience share)
KFI down 44.8% (1.6)

Women 25-54:

KFWB up 92.3% (2.5)
KFI down 66.7% (1.3)

Adults 18+ :

KFWB up 36.4% (1.5)
KFI down 21.4% (1.6)

In other words, in just one month, Dr Laura is already beating her old station in some demos and threatens to do so soon in others.

Will the paper issue a retraction? Don't hold your breath.

In addition, did you notice how it glossed over the 41st place showing of libtalk outlet KTLK?

Given the Times and its left-wing agenda, this is all about politics: her replacement at KFI, Bill Handel, is not conservative and Dr Laura's defiant stands on cultural issues make her an easy target for Californian leftists, who openly seek to eradicate all dissenting viewpoints.

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  • It gets better.

    KFI's PD insisted that 28 days does not indicate anything from which conclusions can be drawn. If this is true, it entirely discredits the LAT article, does it not? Why wasn't she quoted by the LAT?

    Also, the 2 - 3 pm slot was taken over by Jon & Ken, whom KFI recently syndicated (which has thoroughly diminished the local power and impact their show had) haven't done squat, either. Point being, these "superstars" who have run roughshod over that station for years, are getting their asses handed them.

    By Blogger Ed, at 07 November, 2009 02:35  

  • Handel must have worn out David B. (Ass)Hall kvetching about Handel having to get up so early in the morning.

    By Blogger PCD, at 07 November, 2009 08:52  

  • I love Dr Laura, and wish there were MORE advice shows like hers. It is so refreshing to hear that same sound, solid advice we all got from our mom's and grandmothers.

    She was on KVI 570 here in Seattle up against Rush on KTTH 770, but now she's on KTTH at night, which makes it very hard for me to get to bed on time. dadgummit.

    FYI- the libs may not like Dr Laura telling women to do the right thing, but MANY young women do listen to her and like what she says. They are thirsty for reality.

    By Anonymous chard, at 11 November, 2009 23:46  

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