From Michele Malkin, March 5, 2005:
- Air America’s flagship station, WLIB-AM in New York, garnered a 1.2 share in the latest quarter, down 0.1 from the year-ago period. By comparison, WABC-AM, New York's leading conservative station, garnered a 3.8 share, up 0.1 from the year-ago period. WOR-AM, another conservative station, posted a 2.1 share, down 0.1 from the year-earlier period.
- Air America’s Boston station, WKOX-AM, got a tiny 0.6 share in the latest quarter, compared to a 4.3 share at WTKK-FM and a 4.0 share at WRKO-AM, both of which are conservative.
- Air America’s San Diego station, KLSD-AM, got a 1.9 share, up from 1.5 in the year-ago quarter. A respectable performance. By comparison, KOGO-AM, San Diego's conservative station, garnered a 5.5 share, up from 5.2 in the year-earlier period.
- Air America’s Philadelphia affiliate, WHAT-AM, garnered a 0.8 market share in the latest quarter, down 0.1 from the year-earlier period. By comparison, Philadelphia's conservative station, WPHT-AM, posted a 4.1 market share, up smartly from 3.2 in the year-earlier period.
- In Providence, Maloney reports, ratings at WHJJ-AM plunged after it replaced its conservative line-up with Air America, from a 3.5 share of the 12 and older audience to a 2.6 share. Meanwhile, Maloney says Providence's conservative station, WPRO-AM, “saw a surge during the survey period from a 4.4 to a 5.1 audience share.”
I'm sure some of Air America's supporters will point to particular shows that are successful with particular demographic subgroups. But so what if Al Franken is beating Rush Limbaugh among left-handed male eskimos between the ages of 35 and 54? The Arbitron numbers leave no doubt about the general trend: Air America is no match for conservative talk radio. Even in San Diego, where Air America is doing decently, its ratings are only a little more than one third that of the conservative competition.
In the past, Air America's defenders could argue with some justification that its low ratings were the inevitable result of starting from square one. But Air America's flagship station, WLIB-AM, has now been on the air for a full year. As Maloney suggests, it is no longer credible to blame the station's mediocre performance on the fact that it is new:
WLIB has now had a full year, a generous amount of time in broadcasting, to build an audience and figures are still flat compared with the previous niche Caribbean format the station featured. Often in radio that would mean imminent cancellation, but backers continue to be so noisy, they have generated enough industry hype to sustain poor performance a tad bit longer....
My contention is that if liberal talk radio can't find an audience in New York City, it certainly doesn't have a chance in San Antonio, Reno, Fresno and other places now gaining Air America stations that have small "progressive" populations.
Update: Arbitron figures released this afternoon (March 2) show Air America's San Francisco station, KQKE-AM, garnering a 1.0 share in the latest quarter, down sharply from a 2.4 share in the same quarter a year ago. The slot switched from oldies to Air America last fall.
I did as you did. I googled "Air America" & "Ratings".
Once you scroll past Air Americas own hype, which was the first few listings, you'll find several pointing out that they are just hype.
BTW, He's not "my" Rush Limbaugh. I haven't heard his show in years. But he is still beating Frankin in nearly all markets where they go head-to-head.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.