Public Radio’s News/Talk Its Dominant Format

July 26, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Media & Entertainment | Men | Radio | Women | Youth & Gen X

Arbitron‘s recently released Public Radio Today 2007 offers an analysis of audience listening patterns and demographics of eight leading public radio formats, including News/Talk, News-Classical, Classical Music, Jazz, News-Music, Adult Album Alternative (AAA)/Eclectic, News-Jazz and Variety Music:

  • News/Talk still commands nearly half of Public Radio listening:
    • News/Talk generates nearly as much listening (43.6% as of fall 2006) as all other formats together, with nearly 14 million listeners.
    • It has almost twice the weekly reach of the second-strongest format, News-Classical.


  • News-Classical tightens grip as No. 2 format:
    • News-Classical, with a 21.1% share, registered growth in every daypart – and a 14% cume increase.
    • News-Classical is the No. 1 format in both the South Atlantic and South Central regions.


  • AAA/Eclectic sees strong growth:
    • Adult Album Alternative/Eclectic, at 5.1% of public radio listening, registered a 17% improvement in weekly reach??”the second-largest growth of all public radio formats.
    • Time Spent Listenting (TSL) was up one hour among adults 18-34 and improved 30 minutes among 25-54s.
  • News-Music enjoys gains across all dayparts: With weekly share of public radio listening at 6.0%, the News-Music format scored growth in each daypart, as well as on weekends.
  • Variety Music scores big cume increase: Audience reach grew 20% between fall 2005 and 2006??”the largest percentage of all public radio formats, accounting for 2% of public radio listening.

The Arbitron report (pdf) also examines top trends in public radio, including its expanding reach (weekly reach=11.2% of US population).


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