Conservative Talk Radio Has Fewer Fans Than Previously Thought
For years, radio stations gauged their ratings by how listeners filled out diaries. Those ratings are what advertisers use to determine ad rates, and what hosts use to presume bragging rights. But a new methodology called “Portable People Meters” shows that what people say they listen to (diaries) and what they actually listen to (electronic meters) don’t match up (h/t BlatherWatch). Soft rock comes out ahead using this more advanced methodology. The reason this applies mostly to conservatives is because talk radio is predominantly a conservative medium, with only a small percentage of liberal shows.
Talk radio, a largely conservative format, turns out to have fewer fans than previously thought. Talk radio’s market share declined 2.6 percent in the study of areas where the meters were used. Talk radio (excluding sports and news) is about 80 percent conservative, says Michael Harrison, publisher of the trade magazine Talkers.
Television switched to electronic monitoring 20 years ago and it was discovered that men watched cartoons more than had been previously believed. What radio’s Portable People Meters show is that men, the primary audience for talk radio, are listening to soft rock more than they’ll admit when they have to write it down in a diary.
So, while they may not want to admit it, but men are listening more to Celine Dion and Air Supply than we used to believe, and less to right-wing ranters.
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