Is Talk In Trouble? Two Experts Weigh In
July 11, 2014 at 4:44 AM (PT)
HARKER RESEARCH's latest blog post argues that recent talk radio ratings trends graphically demonstrate how "content matters," taking the effect of RUSH LIMBAUGH's move of stations in NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES as examples. "Lose an important programming element that draws listeners to the station and you’ll likely lose listeners," write RICHARD HARKER and GLENDA SHRADER BOS. "If your competitor capitalizes on the change, perhaps by hiring a key personality you let go, you could ulitimately pay for it."
Using an index based on 6+ audience shares from NIELSEN's PPM ratings, the piece analyzes the hit taken by former LIMBAUGH affiliates and the growth of his new stations, "Content matters," the piece concludes. "It matters in every format, in every competitive situation. Listeners have options, more than ever. They will not remain loyal to stations that stop delivering on expectations. Too many broadcast leaders have decided that cheaper trumps better, that downgrading the product to squeeze a little more profit out of local radio is good business. The next quarter’s bottom line might look a little better, but the lessons of what’s happened in NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES suggest that the gains are short-lived. The negative long-term implications will long remain after the momentary bump in profit is forgotten."
Read the whole post here.
But at his own site, former CLEAR CHANNEL talk executive DARRYL PARKS analyzes the analysis and notes that the ratings even for LIMBAUGH's new stations and most other major Talk stations are significantly down, and comments, "We’re cheering for the tallest midget and accepting mediocrity or worse abject failure in the Talk radio industry. We’ve got a problem and the first step is realizing it and accepting it. I wonder if RUSH LIMBAUGH, ego in check, fine businessman and exceptional radio performer that he is, feels good about being on the #28 station in LOS ANGELES. I’m thinking no." PARKS calls Talk's recent ratings "a disaster" and talk "a format dying by the day and no one willing to call the baby ugly.
“HEY. THE BABY IS UGLY.”
Read PARKS' thoughts here.