Jim Walsh's Big Hairy Weblog Thingy

Monday, October 31, 2005

A Whack To The Side Of The Head

Further evidence that contrary to the puff pieces you may read in certain industry publications, the talk radio genre is in serious trouble - and the people with the most to lose are asleep at the wheel. From Radio Online:

According to a recent study by Bridge Ratings, talk stations are beginning to show a more pronounced instability in an area of measurement the company calls the "Passion Index." This index measures a station's favoriteness shares among its weekly cume audience.

Bridge...continues to see attrition among talk radio listeners as a whole.

In its study, trends indicate that favoriteness (favoriteness?) among Talk Radio listeners has been declining over the last nine months...

This study reflects that at some point, talk radio primary listeners who have been disappointed too many times by the content or host performance, will reduce their tune-in occasions and time spent with the station, or will fall out of the primary listener category simply because they no longer consider the station their favorite.

So far, nearly one-third of all talk radio listeners with a favorite talk radio station told Bridge they were spending less time with their favorite station than they were six months ago. Some of the reasons for listening less include:

Variety of topics - tired of same discussions, 34 percent
Not as interested in topics as I used to be, 27 percent
Tired of on-air talk hosts, 15 percent
Other radio station(s) more interesting/entertaining, 14 percent
Other media interest (TV, Print, Internet), 6 percent Change of personal schedule. Can't listen as much, 4 percent

Let me boil it down for you: listeners of talk radio are tired of the same old crap and tuning out.

So...do ya think the folks who call the shots are getting the message?

Well, let's see. From the current Talkers magazine:

Fox News Radio is adding John Gibson to its talk radio syndication efforts...

Another cable newstalk veteran who's getting into syndicated talk radio is Bill Press...

Westwood One and Bill O'Reilly agree to terms on a multi-year contract extension...

Lars Larson and Westwood One come to terms on a contract extension to keep his nationally syndicated program going for many more years...

Infinity officially announces that Jay Severin will be syndicated within the company...

The nationally syndicated Ed Schultz show hits the 100 affiliate mark...

Jones Radio Network's Liddy and Hill Show debuted in national syndication this month...

And on and on it goes.

More and more hosts talking about (say it with me gang):

The. Same. Old. Crap.

Political wonk stuff (and nothing but) from people who are less interested in creating entertaining, compelling radio than in preaching to the choir and advancing an agenda.

Ya know the difference between a jackass and a talk radio programmer?

If you keep hitting a jackass across the back of the head with a two by four, eventually you will get its attention...