Blame the internet and the convenience it offers of getting the news whenever one wants it.
But here is a surprise. All-news radio is booming, according to Mike Stern at medialifemagazine.com.
In Washington, all-news WTOP is the market’s perennial leader, averaging a 10 share. That means that nearly 10 percent of radio listeners in Washington tune in regularly.
Its revenue story is even more impressive. In 2009 the station ranked No. 2 in billing for the entire country with more than $50 million in sales.
The same pattern holds in other markets: WBBM-AM/Chicago, KYW/Philadelphia and KCBS/San Francisco all rank among their markets’ top stations.
What’s driving the growing strength of all-news radio is, of all things, Arbitron’s Portable People Meter for tracking listening.
With the rollout of the PPM across major markets, media buyers are afforded a far more accurate picture of what people listen to, when they listen and how often, all to the benefit of all-news stations.
Under the old diary system, which relies on listeners to remember and write down what stations they listened to, all-news stations got short-changed. Typically, people flip to all-news stations for the headlines, listen for a few minutes, then jump to another station.
When it came to filling out diaries, those short bursts of listening were forgotten about more often than not, and the result was that all-news stations appeared to have lower listening levels than they actually did.
“All-news radio stations are doing great. PPM has treated them well,” says Harvey Nagler, CBS News vice president for radio.
Read more here.