One year after full-time NPR News/Talk stations in PPM markets reached record numbers of estimated weekly listeners, most continue to add more listeners.
Using data from the October 2017 and October 2016 Nielsen Audio ratings, we calculated that the number of weekly listeners to 55 full-time NPR News/Talk stations grew by around seven percent.
(Scroll down to see the full list of the 55 in-tab stations.)
The number of estimated weekly listeners to 55 full-time News/Talk stations grew by 863,900 listeners between October 2016 (12,303,700 weekly listeners) and October 2017 (13,167,600 weekly listeners).
Over 64% of the full-time News/Talk stations increased their estimated weekly listeners by more than three percent. Only eight of the 55 in-tab stations (14%) lost weekly listeners. Twelve stations (22%) stayed roughly the same, up or down 3% or less over the same period.
Stations showing the largest gains were WNSC, Charlotte (up 36%); WCPN, Cleveland and KVCR, Riverside/San Bernardino (both up 31%); and, WMFE, Orlando (up 26%).
WNSC airs South Carolina Public Radio’s news format just across the station line from Charlotte.
Also showing double digit increases were WEBZ, Chicago; KUHF, Houston; KUOW, Seattle; WLRN, Miami; WFAE, Charlotte; WYPR, Baltimore; WPLN, Nashville; WUWM, Milwaukee; and KNPR, Las Vegas.
WJCT, Jacksonville, lost the most estimated weekly listeners over one year, down 26%.
Several high-profile NPR News/Talk stations also saw declines in weekly listeners. Defacto NPR network flagship, WAMU, was down by 7%. However, in the Baltimore metro, WAMU was up 25%. KNOW, Minneapolis and WUSF, Tampa also lost estimated weekly listeners from October 2016 to October 2017.
This report is based on Nielsen Audio data for 55 full-time NPR News/Talk stations chosen to do an “apples to apples” comparison. Dual format stations such as KCRW, Los Angeles and KNKX, Seattle/Tacoma were not included in analysis. Weekly listeners to audio streams were not included. The estimates do not include weekly listeners in adjacent markets. There is a separate breakout of these stations below.
THE TOP TEN NPR NEWS/TALK STATIONS
When listeners in adjacent markets are included, two stations top a million weekly cumulative listeners: KQED and WNYC-FM.
According the Nielsen estimates, WGBH had a larger number of weekly listeners than WBUR in PPM markets.
Because these estimates don’t include listeners in Diary markets, it is hard to say definitively which of the two stations has the largest reach.
LISTENERS IN ADJACENT MARKETS
Five of the top ten stations have significant listening in adjacent markets:
KQED is one of the top stations in San Jose.
Repeater KQEI, Sacramento, shows signs of life.
WNYC-FM has an ample number of listeners in suburban markets that close to the city.
Several close-by Diary markets such as Hudson Valley, Stamford and Bridgeport all have large numbers of WNYC-FM listeners.
WAMU has a major presence in nearby Baltimore.
KPCC continues to add weekly listeners in the Inland Empire via repeater KUOR, Riverside.
WGBH takes advantage of its proximity to Providence and continues to add more weekly listeners despite strong local competition from Rhode Island Public Radio, which is also adding new weekly listeners.
LISTS OF ALL 55 IN-TAB STATIONS