Friday, February 5, 2016


NPR News Stations overall did very, very well in Fall 2015 Diary Markets. Sixty-seven percent added new estimated weekly cumulative listeners compared to Fall 2014. This is good news for the folks on North Capitol Street because it appears their good work is appreciated more than over in medium and small sized markets.

In the analysis, we included only stations that are fulltime in each format (with the exception of Jazz) to provide an apples-to-apples comparison.  Dual formatted stations were not included because without seeing hour-by-hour data the impact of one format versus another.

We analyzed the top 21 NPR News stations, ranked by the number of estimated weekly cumulative listens that have full-time news formats. As a group, the Diary market stations outperformed stations in PPM markets in the one-year trends.

Here is a summary of the five major noncommercial formats in Diary markets:
Here is a summary of the four “secular” noncommercial formats in PPM markets:

Classical Stations as a group saw declines in weekly listeners in both PPM and Diary markets.  Between Fall 2014 and Fall 2015 62% of Classical Stations in Diary markets lost weekly listeners and 72% in PPM markets lost weekly listeners.

Triple A Stations did pretty well in both Diary and PPM markets. There were several stations in Diary markets that are new Nielsen Audio subscribers, so we couldn’t calculate trends.

Jazz Stations did extremely well in PPM markets – 69% of the stations gained weekly listeners.  Jazz stations in Diary markets are harder to characterize because we are tracking only two that have full-time music formats. We added three dual-format stations that air lots of Jazz.  Here is the Diary market Jazz chart:

Contemporary Christian Music (“CCM”) in Diary markets was a mixed bag – half of the most-listened-to added weekly listeners, and the other half lost listeners. Here is the Diary market CCM chart:


1. Lots of people currently listen to noncommercial radio. Let me repeat that: Lots of people currently listen to noncommercial radio. At a time when persons using radio declines 1% - 2% per year, many noncommercial stations are adding new listeners. There is no mass exodus away from noncom radio.

2. It is good to see the listener gains by NPR News stations. The angst about loosing younger listeners is balanced with solid support – even growth - in the Boomer and Gen-X demoa.

3. Look for continued growth in the number and performance of Triple A stations. New “Music discovery” noncoms have signed on, or will soon, in Santa Cruz, Fort Collins/Denver and Duluth. At some point in the future I predict there will be more Triple A noncoms than Classical noncoms.

Provided by RRC, Inc. for use by subscribers only
© Radio Research Consortium, Inc. // //
These data are provided for use by Nielsen Audio subscribers ONLY, in accordance with
RRC's limited license with Nielsen Audio.
Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight Persons 12+ (Diary markets)
Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight Persons 6+ (PPM markets)

Data Copyright Nielsen Audio.
Format designations are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.

1 comment:

  1. I've only been once, in 2009, but NonCommVention at WCL was a blast. Plus my wife came with me (she grew up just north of Philadelphia so we made it a combined visit with some friends in town) and we randomly bumped into an old college friend and they rekindled the friendship after not seeing each other for over 15 years. Wins all around! :)