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Power of Talk Radio

Power of Talk Radio

One of the challenges I face with clients is convincing them of the power of talk radio. As the New York Times noted this week, talk radio still somehow manages to fly below the national media radar. In large part, that is because media consumption patterns are segregated by class. If you visit a carpentry shop or factory floor or hitch a ride with a long-haul truck driver, odds are that talk radio is a fixture of the aural landscape. But many white-collar workers…, struggle to understand the reach of talk radio because they don’t listen to it, and don’t know anyone who does…

Talk radio is not bounded by physical space. It can follow listeners wherever they go, from the car radio while commuting to the radio resting on the workbench to a radio app on a smartphone. It has the potential to dominate the construction of a person’s worldview in a way that other media simply cannot.

My client Seth Denson sees upticks in sales of his book, THE CURE: A Blueprint for Solving America’s Healthcare Crisis, after doing interviews with radio stations across the U.S.

Nielsen studies from before the pandemic reveal that radio reaches 92-percent of the U.S. population weekly compared to 88-percent for television. News-talk radio remains the most widespread format.
Granted, the pandemic has changed listening habits. We’ve never gone through a time where people have been stuck at home as much as we have been in 2020. The fact is that many people don’t have a radio at home. However, radio stations play on smartphone apps, online streams, and smart speakers. According to Nielsen, if you factor in the non-terrestrial listening options, news-talk ratings have not declined.

This week I booked an interview for Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak on the Jim Bohannon Show, which is syndicated on approximately 500 radio stations. According to Talkers, Bohannon averages 6.5 million unique listeners each week. That’s the kind of reach that you’d be crazy to ignore.

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