It isn’t just me

A few weeks ago, I was wondering if the decline in activity here was just holiday related or something else is going on.

WABC-AM hit a 2.2 share in Arbitron, the lowest since they flipped from music in the 1970s. Mike Huckabee and Geraldo are getting no traction.

KJZN-FM in Fresno, CA just changed from Talk Radio Network to CBS Sports

WLW-AM in Cincinnati – probably one of the most successful talk stations in the country (Bill Cunningham’s home station) had its first month where it fell out of #1 for the first time in 13 years – and the trend line is very clear. (WLW is Clear Channel)

Salem’s Hugh Hewitt clearly isn’t getting the message. Yesterday he was talking already about the 2014 elections and how hard he is working to raise money for Republicans.

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18 Responses to It isn’t just me

  1. Wil Schuemann says:

    I’ve noticed a change in myself. Between talk radio and personal reading I have became comfortable, to the extent that it is possible to be, that I understand what is going to be happening societally during the rest of my time. Talk radio has therefore become less significant as a source of information and comfort to me.

    Perhaps there is a simply an element of loss of interest, too, after so many years of listening to talk radio.

    I think Rush’s recent programming/attitudinal changes are related to a decision to change his program’s content enough to create, in the baby boomer generation, an interest in what Rush has to say about our present/future societal problems. There may be an element of survival also, as the silent generation, which has been Rush’s primary audience, is steadily shrinking, as the that generation gradually dies off.

    The shift toward sports is consistent with a shift toward bread and circuses, which tends to happen at about this time in the Saecular cycle.

    As an aside, perhaps that explains why the baby boomers are suddenly trying to delegitimize professional football. They just don’t like not being the center of attention, and professional football is certainly competing strongly for the attention of the masses.

  2. HPaws says:

    Wil – an excellent point about personal listener-ship. I have been taking my Kindle Fire to bed, reading then switching on the nostalgia station in the 1700s from Antioch, MI.

    I know this isn’t the Joy Brown forum but as a no BS, self starter who believes in personal accountability and personal initiative there isn’t much out there for me. I am looking forward, with joy and gratitude, to ‘my time’ drawing to a conclusion

  3. Art Stone says:

    I doubt it’s just me – but the ads and PSA’s forcing their way onto News/Talk can’t be an accident. Rush made a parody ad you hear from time to along with Spatula City if the local station’s automation didn’t fire off or then just don’t care. It’s mocking the fair housing discrimination ads – with the victims always being ethnic minorities and the perpetrators being snooty rich white people. The clear message from the government is – if you’re listening to this program, you’re a racist. I understand why the Democrats what these ads – what I don’t understand is why the radio stations run them – unless they agree.

    Pile on the “the IRS is going to seize your property and throw you in jail” ads (So you think I’m a racist and a tax cheat?), the UNCF fund to perpetuate racially segregated universities as if blacks need protection and can’t compete in an integrated, multicultural university (how many of those inventions were created by a graduate of a UNCF college?), your children may get autism, a drunk driver may kill you, your wife may divorce you and take everything you ever worked for, you’re going to cause a forest fire, you won’t get free government stuff if you don’t register for the draft, the world is ending – buy a 25 year supply of gourmet survival foods.

    It’s just non-stop depressing, you’re an evil person, government is the answer, here is another reason to be afraid. ABC and Fox News just add to the negativity. (Add in Drudge Report even though it isn’t related)

    None of this is accidental. The VoiceOver talent used in PSAs are carefully selected, not just random people. If the National Ad Council chooses an authoritative black male voice to warn you what happens if you disobey the government – that’s a very clear message.

  4. fhiggins says:

    Now finding Alex Jones and Clyde Lewis more fun to listen to than all the old stuff. They have crappy sponsors, too. And podcasts..

  5. smiteboy says:

    America seems to have had an assload of political talk radio on both sides, and no one’s buying it any more. Sports talk points the way to more personality-driven radio. Listeners apparently want to be entertained and informed and not told who to vote for. People now realize that if they’re going to get a non-local canned show that doesn’t relate to their lives in any respect, they could just as easily get a few laughs from a podcast. That’s the real threat to talk radio…and it’s no one’s fault but the big syndicators trying to force left-wing and right-wing politics on us.

    • Art Stone says:

      The one thing that differentiates a podcast from talk radio is if there is live interaction. The thing I dislike most about Rush is his Open Line Friday routine where he wastes 5 minutes of air time talking about how on Friday he lets callers set the topics, then takes no calls in the entire first hour, and keeps saying “I need to get to callers” then goes another two segments repeating the same points he already has made and then maybe taking the first call of the day around :50 in the second hour only to announce that the hour is over and he’s run out of time. I realize a lot of this (with Rush) has to do with his hearing problem.

      The bigger question I keep asking is – why do national talk shows have trouble attracting any calls at all? A few theories
      – people realize that when they dial an 800 number they are not anonymous, even if they block caller ID. Rudy Giuliani sending the police to arrest a caller during his weekly visit to WABC did enormous damage to the relationship with callers and stations
      – the growth of cell phones – stations don’t want cell phone callers – dropped calls, low quality, people don’t want to burn minutes on hold for an hour, latency, potential lawsuits if the caller is driving and crashes
      – stations using caller profile tracking software… Not only does a radio station know your phone number, it then logs every time you called, what you talked about, etc – so the call screener can just not answer the phone
      – the influence of seminar / trained / paid callers. Which is worse – a caller reading today’s talking points or an uninformed caller telling us about the story he just read Drudge Report?
      – recognition that more and more shows are using callback and aren’t even live shows (car talk, money pit are two obvious examples). Fake live shows create no interaction between the caller and the audience
      – maybe nobody is listening. If I was an advertiser, it’s a question in my mind. How can I begin to know the total audience who is hearing my ad – depending on time zones and time of year, stations may be running sports, switched to low power. Lack of callers would reinforce my suspicions of exaggerated audience size numbers

      But the main point is exactly right – if talk radio has no audience interaction, there is no reason for the audience to listen live. Producing podcasts doesn’t requiring having a government permission slip (yet) that costs millions of dollars

  6. briand75 says:

    The Ostrich – hides its head in the sand when there is trouble brewing. I fear the lack of talk radio leads to a lack of truth. Most of the hosts have moments of “blowhardiness”, but if you need to keep touch with the truth, there are fewer and fewer places to do so. George Noory – call your office.

  7. WesternMA says:

    Just my two cents: I think the regular talk radio listeners are experiencing battle fatigue after the last election. I know I needed to take a break until the immigration and gun debates got going recently.

    • Art Stone says:

      People who took the last few months off are going to be very disoriented. Savage, Jerry Doyle, Rusty Humphries and Laura Ingraham have all moved. Neal Boortz is gone. Probably half of the remaining progressive talk stations are gone. Cumulus has mostly realigned their programs to divorce from Clear Channel.

  8. Parrott says:

    I agree with WesternMa “Battlefatigue” in a losing battle. There are more and more ‘GiveMeDats’ than us workers nowadays,and they are the constituency that Chuck Schumer prefers.
    Alex Jones says we are winning, but I don’t see it. Do you ?
    Yeah, neocons like Mark Levin use to energize me. I’m burnt out now. I listen to Hagmann and Hagmann from 8-11 est, now they are live and take calls, but are only on the blogtalk radio. I can download and play the next day. I mean Dennis Preger is good in his arguments and I agree a lot with him, but we’ll never convince the dregs that 16 trillion in debt is bad. So what is the use?
    Yep battlefatigue, get a ham radio and watch out for a chinese band come marching down your street with those ‘burp’ guns. Immigration reform we can achieve in our time, thanks John and Lindsy.(not)

  9. Nidster says:

    No real argument from me regarding what has already been said above.

    What is very interesting is to see things are really starting to heat-up out there in the wild-wild-world. Germany (and a bunch of other countries) are demanding the Feds repatriate (give back) their gold. The Feds are telling them “screw you”.

    The fact that none of the ‘typical’ talk show hosts are talking about this, and I include good ole Rusbo among them, means any of us could be listening all day long to those guys/gals and never know about important events happening right now.

    We know about topics such as gun control and amnesty, which are important issues, but few are aware that a huge split between America and Germany is taking place over the Fed’s refusal to return all of their gold. Ho-hum you say? Wait until a Federal Reserve Note has the equivalent purchasing power of a wad of toilett paper and we will change our tune.

    And as noted above, the list of other counties who are demanding the Feds return their gold is growing and they are not going to take it lightly if their gold is not returned. The Russians and Chinese will gladly lend a comforting shoulder for them to cry on.

    In order to divert attention away from the gold repatriation issue watch how the military actions against Syria, and eventually Iran, start to flare-up more and more.

    • Art Stone says:

      In passing, I heard a brief mention that France is on the edge of the cliff now – but after 2 years of nothing happening, I tend to view it as all nonsense. The only way a Greece collapses is if the powers that be decide they want it to fail – and a global banking system collapse is mutually assured destruction with everyone owning nukes.

      • Nidster says:

        No argument with what has happened in the past. What appears to be forthcoming in the future is the point of my post.

        A global banking system collapse does not need to happen for the above scenario to be developing, IMO. It appears a mutual agreement between other Central Banks is developing to cut the Fed down to size and rearrange the pecking order. In other words, a competition between the Banksters as to who Rules the World.

        As the US economy falters it means the Fed has less affect on the world scene and it leads to the rise of other world powers whose economies are more robust. What could be forthcoming is a re-arrangement of the pecking order, not a collapse. Therefore, watch for US military actions, via False Flag events, to flare-up more and more. It’s the Banksters Method of Operation.

        Of course, I reserve the right to be wrong and change my opinion, but I doubt we are going to hear anything about the above from typical talk show hosts.

  10. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    Part of it is just he natural 4 year election cycle. If you don’t like the current administration and its policies you start to get interested in politics about 2 years from now. Unless you are passionate about a single issue, you feel there is not a way to get significantly involved until the next election.

    What is interesting though are the mega trends and obsession with issues for many years at a time. Peace and equality in the 1960s, the environment in the 1970s, the cold war again in the 1980s, the war on drugs during Reagan’s second term until Bush 41 was kicked out, etc.

    Most fascinating to me today are two recent pivots: the peace movement becoming silent after Obama became President, and the republicans embracing illegal/undocumented aliens after Romney got trounced.

    • Art Stone says:

      My sense is the immigration issue is more a talk radio issue than Republicans on Conservatives in general. Immigration laws are a fairly recent development in the country’s history. Immigration only really became an issue when the social welfare state motivated the non-productive to move here for free stuff.

      Libertarians and free market types oppose immigration laws as they limit freedom of movement and the flow of capital to where it will be used most efficiently (Wealth and capital are becoming such a quaint notion)

      Reagan was very pro Mexican immigration. Contrary to the notion he was being forced to sign Simpson Mazzoli, he had proposed free movement of people and goods across the border in 1979. His son Michael Reagan is getting very vocal that Conservative who think Ronald Reagan was great and immigration is bad are confused.

      • Nidster says:

        As ole Rusbo made it very clear on his show Friday that the immigration issue is following the exact same Template as it did in the 80’s under Reagan. Under Reagan the deal was struck to allow citizenship to illegals IN RETURN for effective and meaningful ENFORCEMENT of the Rule of Law. That is how they got Reagan to agree to the deal and sign it into law. So, the fault is on those who LIED when they agreed to ENFORCE the Rule of Law. So, to say Reagan was very pro Mexican immigration is to overlook Reagan’s opponents. One of his adversaries was Senator John McCain who has been shown to be one of the most insidious players on the scene.

        Rush played the audio clips of what is being said NOW and what the same Senators said in the PAST. Essentially they said exactly the same then as they are saying now.

        As Rush is fond of saying, even the low information voter should be able to see what is going to happen IF the congress passes an immigration/amnesty bill that promises ENFORCEMENT of the law in the future in RETURN for amnesty now.

        • Art Stone says:

          Ronald Reagan launches his Presidential campaign

          “We live on a continent whose three countries possess the assets to make it the strongest, most prosperous and self-sufficient area on earth. Within the borders of this North American continent are the food, resources, technology and undeveloped territory which, properly managed, could dramatically improve the quality of life of all its inhabitants.

          It is no accident that this unmatched potential for progress and prosperity exists in three countries with such long-standing heritages of free government. A developing closeness among Canada, Mexico and the United States – a North American accord – would permit achievement of that potential in each country beyond that which I believe any of them – strong as they are – could accomplish in the absence of such cooperation. In fact, the key to our own future security may lie in both Mexico and Canada becoming much stronger countries than they are today.

          No one can say at this point what form future cooperation among our three countries will take. But if I am elected President, I would be willing to invite each of our neighbors to send a special representative to our government to sit in on high level planning sessions with us, as partners, mutually concerned about the future of our Continent. First, I would immediately seek the views and ideas of Canadian and Mexican leaders on this issue, and work tirelessly with them to develop closer ties among our peoples. It is time we stopped thinking of our nearest neighbors as foreigners.

          By developing methods of working closely together, we will lay the foundations for future cooperation on a broader and more significant scale. We will also put to rest any doubts of those cynical enough to believe that the United States would seek to dominate any relationship among our three countries, or foolish enough to think that the governments and peoples of Canada and Mexico would ever permit such domination to occur. I, for one, am confident that we can show the world by example that the nations of North America are ready, within the context of an unswerving commitment to freedom, to seek new forms of accommodation to meet a changing world. A developing closeness between the United States, Canada and Mexico would serve notice on friend and foe alike that we were prepared for a long haul, looking outward again and confident our of future; that together we are going to create jobs, to generate new fortunes of wealth for many and provide a legacy for the children of each of our countries.
          Two hundred years ago we taught the world that a new form of government, created out of the genius of man to cope with his circumstances, could succeed in bringing a measure of quality to human life previously thought impossible.

          Now let us work toward the goal of using the assets of this continent, its resources, technology and foodstuffs in the most efficient ways possible for the common good of all its people. It may take the next 100 years but we can dare to dream that at some future date a map of the world might show the North American continent as one in which the peoples and commerce of its three strong countries flow more freely across their present borders than they do today.”

          • Nidster says:

            No argument from me that we would be stronger if were possible to create and enact the vision Regan proposed as a, “North American continent as one in which the peoples and commerce of its three strong countries flow more freely across their present borders than they do today.”

            What is missing in the current situation is one in which Americans are saddled with all the encumberances of the current, onerous regulations but on the other-hand do not require their partners to abide by the same regulations.

            In other words, the current players offer the other partners freedom from obeying oppressive regulations that Americans are required to obey. Big Difference, Right?

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