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Just how popular is Gov. Pawlenty’s WCCO show?

It’s Friday morning, time again for Gov. Pawlenty’s “Good Morning Minnesota” on WCCO. As regular readers know, the guv’s show has been a political football between our proto-presidential candidate and local DFLers. But just how popular is the show?

I had a friend in the business pull the Arbitron numbers, and the answer is: very. At least compared to competitors.

TPaw ranks an impressive number two among voting-age listeners (18+) in the 9-10 a.m. time slot, bested only by the classic rockers at KQ. His share of the listening audience more than doubles MPR News and trebles KFAN.

So just how many people listen to the governor? Arbitron rules limit me to discussing things generally, but let’s just say, in an average 15 minutes, his audience would be standing room at Xcel Energy Center. That’s not a lot compared to morning- or evening-drive leaders, but it’s not nothing.

Now you know why WCCO brass doesn’t want to mess with the show.

The demographics are interesting, and familiar to those who follow network TV newscast numbers. In the prime advertising cohort (ages 25-54), the governor doesn’t crack the Top 10, trailing MPR News and KFAN. Conversely, “Good Morning Minnesota” is the leader — by a lot — among listeners 55-plus. All told, two thirds of Pawlenty’s audience falls into this category.

Seniors vote in greater numbers than the rest of the public, so this is good for the governor, if not for WCCO’s sales staff.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Erik Riese on 09/25/2009 - 11:16 am.

    I’ve never heard his show on ‘CCO but, I know when I hear clips of him or listen to speeches there are a few things that stand out.

    1) He sounds very reasonable. He can lie, or make outright fabrications of the truth with great sincerity – almost like Reagan.
    2) He is undecipherable. I rarely get what he means even tho he speaks in simple, short phrases and basic concepts, his structure makes it hard to find meaning.
    3) He seems to be going for a folksy, educational tone, like that of a kindergarten teacher. He rarely avoids dictums and cliches but, he has his own take on them.

    These undoubtedly make for great radio.

    I’m always amazed after hearing him how little I learned. How uninspired I was. And, how dirty I felt because I could tell I was being hoodwinked but, I wasn’t sure how.

  2. Submitted by Terry Hayes on 09/25/2009 - 11:26 am.

    Incredible. Why isn’t everyone tuned in to Stephanie Miller on AM950 at that time of day?
    That is one of the funniest shows on the radio today, thanks to Steph and Jim Ward, whose voice impersonations are impeccable, and highly hilarious. It is intelligent, funny, entertaining radio. I couldn’t imagine listening to either Pawlenty or KQRS instead of the Stephanie Miller Show. I would go out of my way to AVOID listening to either of them.

  3. Submitted by James Blum on 09/25/2009 - 11:38 am.

    Let’s examine the issue a bit more, though: the 9-10am timeslot is during the workday, when people in office jobs (a good part of the prime demo) mostly aren’t able to listen. Who [i]can[/i] listen at that time? Seniors, of course, if they don’t work. Back in my college days, I worked in an aluminum siding factory, and we listened all day (to KQ), so let’s say some manufacturing workers. Stay-at-homes (for whatever reason — moms, dads, out-of-works, independently wealthies). And the few workers who can do their job and listen to talk, which requires (at least for me) more attention than music does.

    T-Paw is going to get a decent quantity listenership, but not necessarily a diverse or representative quality listenership. If he’s pitching his message to the retired, wealthy-enough-not-to-work or out-of-work crowds, he’s gold. If he wants to hit his “Sam’s Club” soccer mom/dad population, however, I don’t think that timeslot helps him.

    It’s probably not possible, but it would be interesting to me to crosstab T-Paw listeners and likely voters. How many of his listeners are in nursing homes or LT care facilties (and thus may be less likely to vote)? It would also be interesting to see who those ~6,000 under-55s are — small business owners? People in coffee shops? Auto mechanics? I’m guessing his show skews older even in the prime demo (i.e., more 45+ than <35).

    Lastly, I don't even know if 'CCO offers time-shifting (e.g., podcasting T-Paw's show), but if they do, it would be interesting to see who listens off the scheduling grid.

  4. Submitted by karl anderson on 09/25/2009 - 12:34 pm.

    I have listened to him twince, and almost drove off the road asleep.

    Not the most exciting guy to listen to….kind of like a tree stump.

    I will call him…..STUMPER

  5. Submitted by John Jordan on 09/25/2009 - 05:07 pm.

    I think Erik Riese is confused and is really listening to Obama. He lies better than any politician in our lifetimes.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 09/28/2009 - 09:16 am.

    I think one has to be a little cautious about this demographic and CCO. I know a lot of older folks who have just been listening to CCO their whole lives, if the radios on, it’s tuned to CCO. I think it would interesting to compare T-Paw not to other stations playing at the same time, but to the other CCO programs in that slot the other days of the week. It could be that that demographic is simply more stable over all.

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