Twin Cities turning deaf ear to political talk radio shows

Star Tribune
August 20, 2005 RADIO0820
Click to learn more...

Twin Cities listeners have been tuning out political talk radio.

Locally, conservative-talk icon Rush Limbaugh's show has lost 43 percent of its audience among 25- to 54-year-olds in the past year. Sean Hannity's show is down a whopping 63 percent. The shift is serious enough that "we're weighing where these shows fit for us in the future," according to Todd Fisher, general manager at KSTP (1500 AM), which carries both syndicated programs.

Many Americans also are switching the dial. While ratings for political talk radio typically drop the year after an election, experts around the country sense something else in the air. Many metro listeners are turning to local, often sports-oriented shows.

"We're not sure yet what's really going on," said talk radio veteran Ken Kohl, Clear Channel's director of news and talk programming for northern California. "In general, the talk shows that are succeeding are ones that haven't been reliving the election, or constantly harping on the polarization between liberals and conservatives."

Kohl thinks many listeners have tuned out because of "war fatigue. I don't think a lot of people want to talk or hear about the war at this point."

Tom Taylor, editor of the industry newsletter Inside Radio, maintains that for political moderates, who make up most of the radio audience, "there's not much that's attention-grabbing. Tom Cruise has grabbed more attention this summer than the war."

He may have a point. Celebrity-obsessed magazines are the single bright spot in an otherwise gloomy environment for the media industry, based on recent circulation surveys.

Twin Cities turning deaf ear to political talk radio shows


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home