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More radio ratings: what women (and people over 55) like

Analysis of the latest Arbitron numbers for women and the 55+ demo.

Yesterday’s piece on the July Arbitron ratings brough this comment from Kay Livingston:

“I’m curious why you didn’t report more about what the women in the demo of 25-54 have been listening to, and how that’s changed over the past year. Other than the country stations, this segment was barely mentioned. Why should the men get all of the attention? 

Having been raised by feminists, this very fair criticism hits home.

Explanation first: As a news guy, I’m more interested in talk than music, and with the exception of MyTalk107, talk competition is very guy-oriented. So I usually get male demographic to discuss especially competitive segments like sports, and use “persons” for broader listenerships like public radio. I do get the female numbers when talking commercial music, because that’s where the action is, though this time I also threw in guy numbers I had from the talk analysis.

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So again, fair point. Let’s see what the numbers tell us:

Kay wondered how MyTalk had fared since firing Colleen Kruse in late February. That month, the station had a 4.8 percent share of women 25-54; it hasn’t been as high since and is down to 4.1. But that’s up from 3.7 percent a year earlier. 

The top 5 stations for the female demo are: KS95, KDWB, K102, Cities, and KOOL. All are up over a year ago except K102, which has new country competition from Buz’n 102.9.

KQ is sixth, by the way, followed by religious broadcaster KTIS, JACK-FM, MyTalk and Buz’n.

A lot of these stations have gained from KHTC’s shift to poor, bedraggled KTWN, which has lost more than half its female demo.

Also noteworthy: the female demo appears to be the group that has fled public radio in a big way. I noted the Current’s rating was down 50 percent overall in a year — it’s about 55 percent here — and MPR News is down 40 percent. Is “Call Me Maybe” drawing women away from Ira Glass?

Kay also asked who was tracking what people over 55 are listening to. Me, now!

Top 5 stations among the experienced set: WCCO, KOOL (no surprises there), K102, MPR News and 1500ESPN.

MPR News’ number is down similarly to its overall decline, indicating whatever is happening is occuring across the board. 1500’s number is interesting because while its topline has sunk, its share among Reusse- and Soucheray-aged people is holding steady.

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The rest of the top 10: KQ, KTIS, conservative NewsTalk, Love 105 and MyTalk.