The conservative echo-chamber believed Air America Radio would be dead quicker than George Bush’s Social Security privatization plan, but new recent data is proving otherwise. Barely a year after its formation, and contrary to conservative spin, Air America Radio is building an audience at a rate that any radio station would envy.
In the Colorado market, which encompasses Denver and Boulder, KKZN 760-AM reached a milestone in its young life, gathering a 2.0 share in the spring 2005 Arbitron rankings. A year ago, the station's rating was a paltry 0.4. "The Al Franken / Ed Schultz duo in the middle of the day is kicking butt," said Jerry Bell, the station's program director. This marks yet another increase, in yet another market, for the newly formed and rapidly expanding liberal radio enterprise.
In the previous quarter, KKZN received a 1.6 rating. Thus, KKZN has shown an increase of 25% in just 3 months. By contrast, KOA, which broadcasts conservative talkers such as Rush Limbaugh has registered a drop in the last 6 months from a 6.9 rating to a 5.5 rating. Thus, while conservative talkers are still at a structural advantage, the station’s audience has dropped by over 20% in just 6 months.
It has been a pretty consistent trend throughout the country that conservative talk radio and conservative news, such as Fox News, are losing viewers in droves. Part of the loss is a credibility problem from the conservative side. Moral values czars such as Rush Limbaugh and Bill Bennet have been caught with drug addictions and gambling addicitions respectively. Bill O'Reilly was caught sexually harassing his employees. The pro-war, right wing cheerleaders like Sean Hannity have been exposed by and large for what they are, draft-dodging cowards who aside from talking tough in the safety of their studio, let others do their fighting for them.
Thus, advertisers should stand up and begin taking notice, the public is losing interest in the less and less credible right-wing talk network, while the rapidly expanding liberal talk network is an untapped resource to reach highly motivated, highly educated, and highly consumer conscious Americans.