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October 09, 2005

Knight-Ridder: talk radio undergoing a shift

That's what they say, not me:
There are signs that the Republicans could be losing some of their overwhelming edge, however. Ratings for Limbaugh and Hannity slipped this spring in some markets. Liberals such as Ed Schultz, Stephanie Miller and Al Franken are carving out their own radio niche. And Democrats argue that they have an edge on the Internet, where explosive growth could dwarf the political impact of radio.

Some of that could be just wishful thinking by Democrats. The slip in ratings, for example, could be a normal drop in political interest after an election year. They also could be untrue - radio ratings are difficult to measure. And even if Limbaugh and Hannity have fewer listeners than they did in the past, they still have millions more than liberal talk show hosts.
K-R conducted an interview with Al Franken. Unfortunately, their tape ran out before they could ask him about the AAR scandal. Or something:
"We're not there yet... My numbers are going up, and theirs are going down. But if I have a million and half people listening to me, that's still just one-tenth of Rush's audience... [Rush is] very talented, I'll give him that... He's a good storyteller. He's good at framing an issue, whether honest or not. ... He's very good at kicking dust up in the air so you don't see the crap on the ground. It's an evil talent. But he's talented."
Unfortunately, K-R includes this bit of truth at the end:
Limbaugh still has about 14.75 million listeners, according to Talkers Magazine. Hannity has about 13 million.

Even the most successful liberal hosts, such as Schultz, Miller and Franken, don't come close yet. None made the top 30 talk radio shows as ranked by Talkers Magazine.

Posted in Meta at October 9, 2005 05:07 AM


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