One of the biggest differences between secular noncommercial radio and commercial radio is the fact that noncom does not have “group owners such as iHeartMedia and Cumulus. There is no reason, other than tradition, why a noncom organization can’t own multiple stations in multiple markets.
|APM HQ, ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA|
American Public Media (APM), based in St. Paul, is an exception. Not only does APM own three stations with distinct program streams in the Twin Cities, it operates KPCC. Los Angeles, via a local marketing agreement (LMA).
Until last year APM owned two stations in south Florida. Over the years APM has negotiated for broadcast properties in several other major markets.
Stations are being asked by CPB and other funders to consolidate operations by creating station clusters. There is no reason to believe consolidation won’t include out-of-home-market license purchases.
Today was have public radio group and cluster owners in PPM markets ranked by their Nielsen Audio estimated weekly cumulative listeners in March 2016. Some of these owners, particularly APM, also own and/or operate stations in Nielsen Audio Diary markets. Weekly listening in these markets is not included.
Please note that religious noncoms operate much differently than public radio. The majority of noncommercial religious stations are owned by “networks” such as Educational Media Foundation (EMF), Way FM, American Family Association and many others. No doubt these organizations have internal data showing their national audience reach but I don't have this info.
One caveat on the list below: Because listeners typically listen to more than one station, a listener may also be included in more than one station’s weekly cumulative listeners. Here is the chart:
TOP TWENTY NONCOMMERCIAL STATIONS
NIELSEN AUDIO PPM MARKETS
RANKED BY ESTIMATED WEEKLY CUMULATIVE LISTENERS
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RRC's limited license with Nielsen Audio.
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