Thursday, November 7, 2019


In an exclusive analysis of Nielsen Audio PPM data, Spark News found that the majority of full-time NPR News/Talk stations are keeping, or even expanding, their reach since the ratings gains around the 2016 election.

Spark News compiled ratings data from the months of October in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. We looked at 20 NPR News/Talk stations for our analysis.

The most impressive gains were in Average-Quarter-Hour (“AQH”) shares. 

Fourteen of the 20 stations (70%) had a larger AQH share in October 2019 than they did in October 2016.

Four of the Top 20 stations (20%) had a lower AQH share in October 2019/ than they had in October 2016. 

Two stations (10%) stayed the same.

A big surprise foe us is how well most NPR News/Talk stations are holding their estimated weekly listeners (“Cume”) since 2016. 

But a few of the stations in Top 20 lost large numbers of weekly listeners.

Thirteen of the Top 20  stations (65%) had more estimated weekly listeners in October 2019 than they did in October 2016. At 7 stations (35%) the weekly Cume was lower than in 2016.

The best performers in AQH share included KOPB (up 2.2 share points), KCFR and KPBS (both up 1.6 share points), KJZZ (up 1.4 share points) and WHYY (up 1.3 share points).

The station with the biggest loss in AQH share is WAMU. They are down by 1.5 share points.

The station with the largest gain in estimated weekly listeners was KPBS, up 39% in October 2019.

 WHYY was up 22%).

KOPB was up 16%. 

KERA and WBEZ  were up 15%.

The stations with the big drops in estimated weekly listeners were WAMU, down 25% and WABE, down 24%.

Overall, the 20 stations combined increased their weekly listeners by 7.3%.

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