Monday, July 25, 2016


One of the smartest things these days on public radio news stations is the Anxiety Index research by Edison Research [link] that appears on Marketplace. This is not a rehash of someone else’s work, it is original research done with a real sense of purpose.

American Public Media’s (APM) Marketplace is partnering with Edison to conduct ongoing research to measure Americans’ economic anxiety. The results are insightful and Edison’s co-founder Larry Rosin is establishing himself as a go-to commentator/explainer. Give a listen to Rosin’s analysis on the Marketplace Morning Report with David Brancaccio: [link].  

Larry Rosin
Larry Rosin is a researcher with eclectic tastes and the ability to see big-picture trends.  Though most of Edison’s research biz is not with public media, Rosin seems to value his association beyond just the money. Rosin has always hung with the brightest and most curious folks. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at Penn. Rosin has been doing media and lifestyle research since the 1980s. Back then his weekly newsletters for Bolton Research were required reading when I worked for Bill Moyes at Transtar Radio Network.

In 2014 Rosin presented definitive research about media usage by Classical music consumers at the PRPD.  I don’t believe there is a link to this story but I am glad to send you a copy of the results.  

Some of my favorite work by Edison includes studies such as Wake Me Up: An In-Depth Look at Morning Media [link] and the ongoing Share of Ear [link].

Public radio should commission more original research because the results often make news beyond the noncom world. I’ve heard the Anxiety Index quoted frequently om other news channels.  Stuff like this enhances the “halo” of public broadcasting. Marketplace is a perfect partner/collaborator with Edison because both excel in taking complex topics in ways that are easy to grasp.


Results from Nielsen Audio’s Spring 2016 Diary market continue to arrive via the Radio Research Consortium (RRC). Today we are comparing estimated weekly listeners in Burlington/Plattsburgh, Grand Rapids and Dayton – three very different noncom markets – with results from Spring 2016.

Burlington is one of the best noncom markets in the nation. Vermont Public Radio’s (VPR) News network exceeds expectations. WVPR’s 145,400 estimated weekly cumulative listens tops NPR News stations such as WOSU in Columbus, WFYI in Indianapolis and KSTX in San Antonio, all with much larger populations.

Also in Burlington out-of market NPR News stations such as New Hampshire Public Radio and WAMC’s local repeater station WCEL both gained weekly listeners in the past year.

The Grand Rapids market has strong performers and a couple of mysteries. WCSG is one of the best performing CCM stations anywhere and NPR News station WUOM often has as many weekly listeners to GV repeater WVGR as it has listeners in Detroit.

Mystery #1 is WVGU AM and FM.  I have written before about WVGU’s inability to compete with out-of-market NPR News stations. Now WVGU-FM trails its twisted sister WVGU-AM.  In fact We’re Not Going to Take It by Twisted Sister is playing as I write this post. 

WVGU-AM [link] is known locally as Real Oldies. The last three songs played, in addition to Twisted Sister, were Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O’Sullivan, The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA by Donna Fargo and The Candy Man by Sammy Davis, Jr. This un-hip music mix is likely not found anywhere else on noncom “educational” radio.

Mystery #2 is how many listeners there are to Triple A WYCE.  They don’t subscribe to Nielsen Audio but locals tell me they are doing very well.

Nice to see local Classical outlet WDPR doing so well.

These data are provided for use by Nielsen subscribers ONLY,
in accordance with RRC's limited license with Nielsen Inc.

Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight Persons 12+

Data Copyright Nielsen Inc

 Format distinctions are the sole responsibility of Ken Mills Agency, LLC.

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