Unexpectedly Intriguing!
March 13, 2006

Shortly after posting yesterday's analysis of AAR's ratings, I received an e-mail that made a very good point regarding the full magnitude of the impact that Air America Radio (AAR) would face if it loses it's flagship WLIB affiliate in New York City. In short, the station has a powerful enough signal to reach a number of other radio markets in the northeast, which significantly adds to the number of Age 12+ listeners for AAR's programming via WLIB itself.

The following short table shows all the markets for which AAR's broadcasting through its current WLIB affiliate has registered measurable ratings:

AAR's Ratings for WLIB, SP05-WI06
Rank State City Age 12+ Population SP 05 SU 05 FA 05 WI 06 Average Estimated Audience
1 NY New York 15,332,000 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.4 1.25 191,650
18 NY Nassau-Suffolk 2,393,800 1.4 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.98 23,340
39 NJ Middlesex 1,383,100 0.5 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.35 4,841
120 CT Bridgeport 395,600 0.7 N/R 0.5 N/R 0.60 2,374
142 CT Stamford 304,800 0.0 N/R 1.1 N/R 0.55 1,676
196 CT Danbury 188,000 0.0 N/R 0.4 N/R 0.20 376

N/R = No ratings recorded for indicated time period.

Together, the other markets in which AAR's signal is heard represent an additional 32,606 Age 12+ listeners, bringing the estimated total of AAR's audience on WLIB to 224,256. This also brings AAR's estimated total audience in the U.S.' Top 100 Radio Markets to 1,024,914 listeners per average quarter hour.

WLIB's share of Air America Radio's total estimated audience per average quarter hour in the U.S.' Top 100 radio markets is therefore increased to 21.9%. The following chart illustrates WLIB's proportional share of AAR's audience in these regions, along with the next four stations with the biggest audiences for AAR's programming:

AAR's Top 5 Affiliates' Audience Share

The chart above illustrates that WLIB alone represents more than one-fifth of AAR's total audience in the Top 100 radio markets in the U.S. Even more remarkable is that AAR's 5 biggest markets by audience size account for more than half of AAR's audience in the Top 100 radio markets.

We also note that our previous point about the importance of the New York City radio market ot AAR remains valid. Assuming that WLIB generates 22% of AAR's revenue from its operations, the loss of this affiliate without corresponding reductions in the network's cost of operations would significantly increase its financial strain, making it all but certain that significant cost cutting would ensue as the network struggles to survive.

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