Originally posted on August 2, 2007
The top four syndicated hosts, jockeyed for position in the Talking Radio Ranking of Liberal Talk Show Hosts and as they crossed the finish line it was once again a close race with less than two points separating the winner from the fourth place finisher.
Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz maintained their advantage in total number of affiliates, Stephanie Miller secured her post position with the best time slots, but in the end it was the veteran Randi Rhodes, who held on to first place with a strong showing in the Spring survey.
For the second time this year, the “goddess” has secured the number one slot in the TR Ranking, beating out a surging Miller (who was fourth in the last survey), by a neck at the finish line. Schultz dropped to third position and Hartmann to fourth.
The TR survey* rates the performance of all of the syndicated lib talkers who broadcast on weekdays. You will notice that the hosts are rated by the percentage of the total audience that they reach.
Furthermore the positioning of the hosts is based on all radio listeners, not the so-called money demo, i.e. adults 25-54. You will have to go to other sources e.g. trade magazines or the host's websites to find specific data concerning ratings, shares, AQH's and cumes. Here is the ranking of syndicated lib talk hosts as of June 30, 2007:
While the distance between the top four was more than 4 points after the first quarter, it was only 1.4 points this time. It was a classic photo finish.
Rhodes secured her number one spot by continuing to improve her time periods. (Her coverage remained about the same.) and doing well in the Spring survey. The big news was Miller’s surge from fourth to second place. Stephanie did it by taking advantage of her ideal time periods, (i.e. 6am – 9am on several important west coast stations.) The slip by Schultz and Hartmann, was not due to their loses, but rather to Rhodes’ strong finish and Miller’s late surge.
However, the big news regarding the 2nd quarter “Ranking” was not the top four, but of the stunning changes in the rest of the field. Most notably, the dismal showing of the new Air America Radio talk shows.
While Rachel Maddow held her fifth place position and actually improved her standing by more than 2 points, veteran AAR talker Mark Riley, host of The Air Americans, fell from 10th to 12th place. Also new AAR talker Lionel barely got out of the starting gate falling from 7th to 8th. The Young Turks sunk from 8th to 10th.
More significantly, all three shows saw an extreme drop in their affiliations. Riley, from 40 to 13, Lionel from 55 to 15 and the “Turks” from 28 to 15. (AAR announced last week that it was canceling the Air Americans and replacing the four-hour mid-day show with two two-hour talk shows.) Lionel’s problem appears to be the fact that his new show is up against Miller, who is not giving up any ground.
Bill Press held on to his ninth position, but he lost 32% in point positioning falling from 3.4 top 2.3.
Late night talkers continue to struggle for position as their time slots do not attract many listeners.
Alan Colmes, who is actually carried on more stations than any other liberal talk show host, because of his role as the token lib on dozens of conservative talk stations, finished in 7th place beaten out by another late night talker, Mike Malloy, who secured his position by getting better time slots on several stations. While Jon Elliott improved his position by beating both Riley and the “Turks” for the first time, Elliott remained under two points in second quarter Ranking.
West coast talker, Peter B. Collins remained in last place.
For the first time since the launch of AAR, three and one-half years ago, talk hosts not affiliated with the liberal talk radio network account for the majority of lib talk listnership -- 50.2%. This is up from 34.4% at end of 2006.
The field of lib talkers, also declined in the second quarter. While there were 15 talkers on the first quarter survey, the second quarter survey only contained 13. The number of talkers will probably increase for the third quarter survey (9/30/07) with AAR introducing two new talk hosts – Richard Greene and Bree Walker – and independent talkers like Mario Solis-Marich and Leslie Marshall now starting to be syndicated.
There are 160 stations that carry at least one syndicated lib talker on weekdays. Of these 94 stations carry only one host, 11 stations carry two hosts, and 55 stations carry three or more hosts.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Originally posted on August 2, 2007