Unexpectedly Intriguing!
August 29, 2006

The Arbitron books have recently closed on the Spring 2006 ratings period for radio stations across the country, so we thought we'd update our previous look at how Air America Radio is doing.

The ratings below were transcribed from Radio & Records' online listing for the Spring 2006 period. The ratings represent the percentage of each local market's listening population (Age 12+) over an Average Quarter Hour (AQH) time period. To estimate the potential size of AAR's audience in each of its local markets, we took the average rating for each market over the past year (treating it as a percentage) and multiplied it by that market's Age 12+ potential listening population.

We've summarized our results in the following dynamic table. You may click any of the column headings to sort the data from low to high or vice versa (by clicking the column heading again).

AAR's Ratings in Top 100 Radio Markets
Summer 2005 - Spring 2006
Rank State City Station(s) Age 12+ Pop. SU 05 FA 05 WI 06 SP 06 Avg. Rating Est. Audience
1 NY New York WLIB 1190 AM 15,332,000 1.2 1.4 0.8 1.0 1.1 168,652
2 CA Los Angeles KTLK 1150 AM 10,790,100 0.9 0.7 1.0 1.0 0.9 097,111
3 IL Chicago WCPT 850 AM 07,698,300 0.7 0.8 0.7 0.9 0.8 061,586
4 CA San Francisco KQKE 960 AM 05,829,700 1.2 1.2 1.2 0.8 1.1 064,127
5 TX Dallas-Fort Worth KXEB 910 AM 04,730,200 0.0 0.0 0.4 0.6 0.3 014,191
8 DC Washington WWRC 1260 AM 04,132,800 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.6 0.3 012,398
9 MI Detroit WDTW 1310 AM 03,892,600 0.0 0.5 0.4 0.4 0.3 011,678
10 GA Atlanta WWAA 1690 AM 03,860,100 0.0 0.4 0.4 0.0 0.2 007,720
11 MA Boston WKOX 1200 AM & WXKS 1430 AM 03,841,100 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.4 0.4 015,364
12 FL Miami WINZ 940 AM 03,505,100 1.5 1.9 1.2 1.4 1.5 052,577
14 WA Seattle KPTK 1090 AM 03,204,800 2 2.3 2.8 1.7 2.2 070,506
15 AZ Phoenix KXXT 1010 AM / KPHX 1480 AM* 02,938,500 1.5 1.2 1.1 1.3 1.3 038,201
16 MN St. Louis Park KTNF 950 AM 02,632,400 1.2 1.1 1.0 1.1 1.1 028,956
17 CA San Diego KLSD 1360 AM 02,484,900 1.8 3.1 1.6 2.1 2.2 054,668
22 CO Denver KKZN 760 AM 02,157,700 1.9 1.8 1.4 1.3 1.6 034,523
24 OR Portland KPOJ 620 AM 01,963,400 4.4 4.1 4.1 3.5 4.0 078,536
27 CA Riverside KCAA 1050 AM 01,799,900 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 000,000
28 OH Cincinnati WCKY 1530 AM 01,705,200 1.3 1.3 0.9 0.6 1.0 017,052
30 TX San Antonio KTXX 103.1 FM 01,552,100 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 000,000
38 OH Columbus WTPG 1230 AM 01,401,300 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.2 016,816
42 TX Austin KOKE 1600 AM 01,204,800 0.7 0.8 1.0 0.7 0.8 009,638
43 NC Chapel Hill WCHL 1360 AM 01,143,700 0.0 0.9 0.6 0.0 0.4 004,575
49 TN Memphis WWTQ 680 AM 01,047,900 0.5 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.6 006,287
52 NY Buffalo WHLD 1270 AM 00,989,400 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 000,000
54 NY Rochester WROC 950 AM 00,941,600 1.4 0.8 0.9 1.1 1.1 010,358
57 LA New Orleans WSMB 1350 AM 00,862,700 N/A N/A N/A 0.9 0.9 007,764
63 HI Honolulu KUMU 1500 AM 00,774,500 0.0 0.4 N/A N/A 0.2 001,549
66 CA Fresno KFPT 790 AM 00,711,700 0.4 0.4 0.8 1.1 0.7 004,982
67 MI Grand Rapids WTKG 1230 AM 00,703,400 0.8 1.2 0.4 1.1 0.9 006,331
70 NM Albuquerque KABQ 1350 AM 00,654,200 1.6 2.2 2.0 2.0 2.0 013,084
73 OH Akron WARF 1350 AM 00,597,200 0.6 0.6 0.9 0.8 0.7 004,180
74 FL Bradenton WSRQ 1450 AM 00,591,500 N/R 1.1 N/R 1.4 1.3 007,690
76 TX El Paso KHRO 1650 AM 00,573,600 1.0 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.6 003,442
79 CA Monterey KOMY 1340 AM 00,555,100 0.0 0.4 0.6 0.0 0.3 001,665
82 MA Springfield WHNP 1600 AM & WHMP 1400 AM 00,533,700 1.6 N/A N/A N/A 1.6 008,539
83 LA Baton Rouge WYNK 1380 AM 00,529,100 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
90 SC Columbia WOIC 1230 AM 00,485,400 0.9 0.9 0.5 0.0 0.6 002,912
92 WA Spokane KPTQ 1280 AM 00,480,800 1.0 2.0 1.3 1.0 1.3 006,250
96 WI Madison WXXM 92.1 FM 00,461,700 2.3 3.8 2.2 3.1 2.9 013,389

  • N/A = Ratings Not Available at Time of Posting
  • N/R = Ratings Not Collected for Indicated Period
  • Average Ratings for each market determined by taking the average of available ratings beginning with the Summer 2005 period (SU 05) and ending with the Spring 2006 (SP 06) rating period as of August 29, 2006.
  • Age 12+ Listeners per Average Quarter Hour determined by converting Average Ratings for each market into a percentage and multiplying by total population of Age 12+ listeners in radio market as documented by Radio & Records.
  • Average Ratings for each reporting period were determined by finding the average of all measured ratings in that reporting period.
  • * AAR programming in Phoenix moved from KXXT 1010 AM in the Winter 2006 period to KPHX 1480 AM, which provided the ratings shown in the Spring 2006 ratings period.

The following table provides the overall average ratings for each period, as well as the estimated audience in the Top 100 U.S. Radio Markets:

Sums and Averages for AAR Ratings in Top 100 U.S. Radio Markets
Age 12+ Pop. SU 05 FA 05 WI 06 SP 06 Avg. Rating Est. Audience
99,294,200 0.9 1.1 1.0 1.0 1.0 957,297

Overall, these ratings provide a good indication that AAR's ratings are flat across its major local markets, neither showing significant erosion nor significant growth. We anticipate this will change for the worse when AAR moves from WLIB in New York to the much lower powered WWRL.

Previously on Political Calculations

The Future of Air America

We kicked off our series of posts analyzing Air America Radio viability as a business with this post. We really didn't think it would go much further than this!

Air America, Again

We found that AAR doesn't just have competition from the right - it has it on the left as well....

The Financing of Air America Radio

A throw-away post that let us fill space with some information on where AAR got its financing that we had come across in our previous analysis.

Time to Harvest or Divest

As AAR appeared to be running into significant turbulence, we updated our original strategic business analysis, finding that what AAR's management needed to do was to find "white knight" financing or to start making moves to significantly cut its costs.

A Top Ten Countdown

We couldn't resist applying a list a bankruptcy lawyer came up with for a failing company to AAR's known problems - lucky thing AAR has benefitted from the generosity of multi-millionaires with deep pockets.

Profiles in Semi-Obscurity

Another space-filler post where we just unloaded background information about various members of AAR's Board of Directors that we had come across in previous analysis.

Air America's Ratings in the Top 100 Radio Markets

Our look at AAR's ratings through Arbitron's Winter 2006 period.

A Bigger Footprint

An intrepid e-mailer let us know that AAR's flagship affiliate WLIB had a bigger footprint than just the New York City market - plus, we find that roughly half of AAR's audience is in just five cities.

Profiling a Handful of AAR's Local Affiliates

Once again, we unload information we collected in other analysis. This time, we estimate just how many local AAR affiliates there are by determining where they're not.

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