Can The No. 2 PPM-Market Format Continue To Grow?

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By Adam R Jacobson
RBR + TVBR


New data released Monday (Oct. 31) by Nielsen show “a rising tide” for the News/Talk format, with the format’s audience among adults 25-54 reaching its highest point in more than three years — in Portable People Meter (PPM) markets — during the October 2016 ratings period.

Year-over-year, News/Talk is up among all listeners, too, in PPM markets, Nielsen says.

News/Talk ranked second in the Nielsen PPM markets in October, vaulting ahead of Country, Hot Adult Contemporary and Adult Contemporary.

But, the format is slightly down from the 2012 election season. With Election Day just seven days away, can News/Talk continue the momentum?

Is it attracting the all-important millennial as well as it should?

It may depend more on NPR member stations and all-News stations in the top markets than straight-ahead Talk stations that feature a heavy load of syndicated talk programming, an up-close review of October PPM-market ratings shows.

That being said, markets such as Atlanta, Indianapolis and Milwaukee indicate News/Talk is alive and well and heading into a rosy 2017.


RBR + TVBR OBSERVATION (Full text below, for members only): Nielsen just did News/Talk a solid by lumping in stations like all-News WTOP-FM in Washington, DC and WAMU-FM, the American University-owned NPR station serving the Nation’s Capital, in this October ratings study. Have you looked at the ratings for Cumulus Media’s News/Talkers KABC-AM in Los Angeles, KGO-AM in San Francisco, WLS-AM in Chicago and WABC-AM in New York? How about those ratings for Rush Limbaugh at iHeart’s KEIB-AM in L.A.? News/Talk has issues.¬†



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Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.