Despite a bumpy start, Air America Radio appears to be doing fairly well in the ratings. Al Franken's show is even beating Rush Limbaugh's in one market.
Despite ongoing financial woes, Air America Radio appears to have garnered a significant audience during its first month on the air, particularly among the younger listeners sought by advertisers.Just one more illustration of why the Republicans may regret choosing New York for their convention this summer. Hostile territory, indeed!
An analysis of recently released figures from Arbitron, the radio ratings service, showed that in New York Air America beat Rush Limbaugh's station among 25-to-54-year-olds during the period that Limbaugh and Al Franken, the host of the flagship show "The O'Franken Factor," go head-to-head.
In Chicago, even though the network was available for only 28 days in April, Air America increased the average share of 25-to-54-year-old listeners on WNTD-950 AM from a 0.1 percent share in February to a 2 percent share in April.
Air America was pulled off WNTD-950 AM due to a billing dispute. The network is seeking a new home in Chicago.
"We're actually doing very well despite everything we've managed to do to ourselves," Franken said on Saturday in an address to the Talkers Magazine New Media Seminar in New York.
He was referring to the network's failure to meet payroll earlier this month and the departure of no fewer than six key executives in its first eight weeks on the air.
"If this is how we're doing now, imagine what things will be like when we actually know what we're doing," Franken said.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., a period that includes Franken's show, WNTD pulled in 3 percent of 25-to-54-year-old listeners in Chicago. That number puts the fledgling network in the same league as WGN-720 AM, which scored a 2.1 percent share of the same demographic, according to the extrapolation of April figures. WLS-890 AM, which airs Rush Limbaugh during the same period, beat WNTD with a 4.8 share.
But in New York, where Air America still broadcasts over WLIB-1190 AM, the network beat Limbaugh's station, Disney-owned WABC, among both 25-to-54-year-olds and 18-to-34-year-olds during the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. period. In the 25-to-54 demographic, WLIB garnered a 3.4 share to WABC's 3.1; among 18-to-34-year-olds, WLIB won sevenfold with a 2.9 share to WABC's 0.4.