Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hate Talk Radio Fading-- At Least In Terms Of Demos Advertisers Are Interested In


Two stories this week in Inside Radio demonstrate, once again, why Hate Talk Radio is doomed. In short, the format isn't reaching a demo and advertisers-- other than adult diaper makers, the NRA and the Republican Party-- want to reach. The key ad target demos don't want to hear bitter old white men screaming crazy, hateful conspiracy theories at them. Only very old, bitter white males listen to Hate Talk Radio (and Fox News). It's not a small number, but it isn't one legitimate advertisers care about reaching.

The chart (above) tells the story of why mainstream Hate Talk radio is doomed in the long run. The two overlapping age demographics, 18-34 and 25-54, are the ones of greatest interest to the greatest number of advertisers.

Arbitron's News/Talk category lumps all-news, Hate Talk,  liberal talk and NPR news/talk into a single category, instead of separating all-news from the others; and this catch-all category, which is not in the top five for the 18-34 demo, is tied for fourth place in 25-54-- where, one can safely assume, NPR, all news and sports-talk stations account for nearly all of that 6.1 percent.

That composite category is tops in all listeners age 6+. But remember, that  would include the 55-64 and 65+ demos, where Hate Talk finds the vast majority of its listeners.

The other demos, in the smallest breakouts, are 6-11, 12-17, 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, and 45-54. Of these, only 45-54 has a significant number of Hate Talk listeners. And the format has been steadily sinking, not just in terms of profits, but also in terms of overall listenership.
For a format that usually posts its best ratings in fall and winter, a summertime news/talk ratings decline is as predictable as rising temperatures. But the extent of the format’s April-July slippage suggests something may be at play other than mere seasonal fluctuations. News/Talk has lost 10% of its audience in the past two years.

The format has dropped 9% since April alone among persons 6+ in the 45 non-embedded PPM markets, trending 9.6-9.2-8.9-8.7. Still, it continued to hang on to a narrow 6+ lead. But news/talk is in danger of slipping out of the top five in the 25-54 dollar demo, where it’s lost more than a share in the past three months and is now tied for fourth place with hot AC.

"News/talk’s lead over pop CHR and country has shrunk in each of the past two months, and for the first time since we began keeping our format records, it recorded two consecutive books below a 9 share," Arbitron media insights manager Tony Hereau says. While summer is historically the lowest time of the year for the format, its summer shares have declined about 10% since 2011. Hereau says Arbitron will be "keeping a close eye on the results as August and September approach," when the summer news doldrums usually end.

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