Friday, October 28, 2016


Not all NPR News stations are losing weekly listeners like WBEZ. (See yesterday’s post.) NPR News stations in the four markets we are examining today increased their weekly cume from September to October. Nielsen Audio estimates via RRC arrived this week for PPM markets. The biggest story may be in Boston.

WBUR and WGBH have been in an epic battle for the past two years. They are competing head-to-head for NPR News listeners in a rivalry seldom seen in noncommercial radio. Except for one month in 2015 when WBUR had technical problems, WBUR has always been the top dog.  Not anymore.

According to Nielsen’s estimates for October, WGBH topped WBUR in Average-Quarter-Hour (AQH) shares: WGBH 4.0%, WBUR 3.4%.  WBUR maintained the weekly cumulative listeners lead by 1,700 persons.  And both WGBH and WBUR gained weekly listeners.

October was a good month for New York Public Media.  WNYC-FM gained an estimated 113,400 weekly listeners, 14% up from September.  Classical WQXR had its best showing in a couple of years, up 152,600 weekly listeners, 23% up from September.

WNYC-AM fell a bit but that is to be expected because they only have full-market coverage during daylight hours. The results for WBGO look like a “wobble” to me. We will know more after a couple of books.

In the Twin Cities, NPR News KNOW continues to build weekly listeners. CCM powerhouse KTIS-FM was down compared to September. Classical KSJN added around 20,000 weekly listeners.

NPR News station KCFR also increased weekly listeners, up 5% from September. Denver-Boulder is perhaps the most competitive "progressive rock" market in the country. Noncoms on the Front Range compete with two heritage, very hip commercial stations: KTCL and KBCO.  I have the feeling there is a lot of time-sharing between the commercial stations and the two noncoms.

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