The NY Daily News.
WNYC 93.9 FM / 820 AM hasn’t had a major surge. But WABC 770 AM and WOR 710 AM, the commercial stations that have long dominated the local talk market, have both fallen into tailspins, WOR over several years and WABC more recently.
Since high-voltage red-meat talk has dominated radio for almost two decades, the shift to the lower-decibel, more measured style of public radio marks a significant shift.
The new Nielsen ratings, covering mid-May to mid-June, show WNYC averaging 2.2% of the city audience. That puts it in 16th place overall.
WOR averages 1.5% of the audience, for 22nd place, and WABC averages 1.3%, for 23rd.
That’s a concern because unlike some other radio formats, which “rescue” low overall ratings with a higher share of younger listeners, talk formats have always appealed primarily to older listeners.
In morning drive time, WNYC has a bigger average share of the audience than WABC and WOR combined.
WNYC averages 4.0%, while WABC with Don Imus averages 1.8% and WOR, which is still rotating tryout hosts, averages 1.0%.
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