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Drop in right-wing talk radio ratings

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Bob Cook, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    I put this on a journalism board in hopes it would limit the political pissing matches, but this seems interesting as a broadcast and journalism story (though the story itself makes copious use of the term "wingnuts"):


    ...a look at radio ratings shows that hyper-partisan talk has been declining or flat-lining between ‘09 and ‘10, despite the intensity of the election year. There’s a demand for something different—smart, un-predictable, non-partisan news is gaining market share because it stands out from the pack. And leading industry analysts say there is a market for more independent voices.

    “There are a lot of program directors whose radio ‘spider-sense’ is tingling,” says Randall Bloomquist, a long-time radio executive and president of Talk Frontier Media. “They're thinking ‘this conservative thing is kind of running its course. We're saying the same things from morning 'til night and yes, we've got a very loyal core audience—but if we ever want to grow, if we want to expand, we've got to be doing more than 18 hours a day of ‘Obama is a socialist.’”

    First point, before the political pissing matches start -- no one is saying that liberal talk radio is seen as a better alternative. It just seems like a cycle has run its course, and that radio listeners may be demanding something less predictable. Even as a unabashed socilist liebruhl, I can't listen to more than two minutes of "progressive" talk radio without feeling empty inside, especially as hosts claim the solution to the fascists and conservadems to be just as fascist and unbending as those they say they dislike.

    Second, as far as the repetitiveness, there was a time, long ago, when even as a socilist liebruhl, listening to Rush Limbaugh was interesting, because he had some level of unpredictability. In general, to me it would seem like one of the hardest things about hosting a radio show for a long time is staying fresh, especially in that difficult time in between when people have figured out all your tricks, but haven't yet embraced you for doing those tricks over and over again so well.

    What do y'all think?
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Obama is a socialist.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    There's only one counterbalance noted on that article. I've never heard it; can anyone vouch that the John Batchelor show is objectively "smart, un-predictable, non-partisan news"? It also could read as "this is a program whose viewpoints I agree with, therefore I define it as reasonable."

    However, when people listen to less of Beck and Hannity for any reason, that's a net gain for society, so this is good news.
  4. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Has the right-wing niche aged? When I was a teenager back in the old days, the hard-core "ditto heads" tended to be the moms and dads (mostly dads) of my white, working-class friends. Those folks are well into retirement now. Are they dropping off (i.e., dying) and not being replaced by younger listeners?

    I ask this without really knowing the demographic breakdown of right-wing radio audiences, just some anecdotal evidence.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I don't think ditto heads ever die off.

    People are just wired to see things as black and white (conservatives) or shades of gray (liberal).
  6. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I agree but there's a difference between conservatives as a political force and conservatives as a radio audience. Important distinction.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    The story notes the advance age of the right-wing radio audience. I believe most demographic breakdowns of cable news also have Fox with the oldest audience. Certainly, there are plenty of sympathetic audiences that are young enough to have their original adult teeth, but if they're not into what you're doing, you'll die off, too. I remember a radio exec coming to my high school's career days in the mid-1980s talking about that when the "beautiful music" format was on its last legs because no one under the age of 70 was listening to it.
  8. TigerVols

    TigerVols Well-Known Member

    For the record, I didn't write it.

    That said, maybe the conservative stations should air more NFL games?
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I think that is not untrue (the stereotypes).

    I will tell you this, though. There is no argument that is more difficult to wade into, and suicidal, than one with a true conservative intellectual. Despite the reputation that the masses has earned for the movement, the smart ones are sharp MFers. And they may be 100 percent wrong, but they can be pretty damned convincing.
  10. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    I don't know if a musical format is an appropriate analogy here. Maybe it's more LP vs. 8-track vs. tape vs. CD vs. MP3 download. Maybe for younger conservatives, radio isn't the format to get their political information any more. The question is, who does traditional radio reach now? Answer that question and you'll answer the question on where this format is headed.

    I realize the writer has his opinion on that. I really don't know the answer. The only time I listen to radio is in the car and I have two sports radio stations and an all-talk public radio station preset. If I flip through those and nothing interests me, I move on to my ipod.

    I've never listened to Rush, have no stomach for that crap. But I imagine the U-50 crowd that might tune in to him also has their I-pods at the ready.
  11. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    As a somewhat apolitical, but slightly left-leaning moderate, I listen to Hannity (on delay) for about 20 to 30 minutes each night driving home from the office.

    The convervative drumbeat about the drive-by media and the left-wing media conspiracy drives me nuts, but beyond that, I always find it mildly entertaining to listen to views that aren't usually mine, and he has decent guests and they're often topical.

    On the other hand, Hannity himself IS repetitive, and it does get old, and he does repeat the same mantras over and over (and you then see them repeated in letters to the editor in the local paper).

    So I still give him my 20 minutes, but I understand how it could be wearing thin with listeners.
  12. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    Screw political talk radio, I will tell you what gets repetitive and tiresome -- sports talk. Just shut up already.
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