Youngstown, Ohio: Media Hub

By Rowe, Chip | Washington Journalism Review, December 1992 | Go to article overview

Youngstown, Ohio: Media Hub


Rowe, Chip, Washington Journalism Review


If television, radio, newspapers and magazines were lasagna, Youngstown would be full.

Or so you'd think, since residents of the eastern Ohio metropolis spend more time with broadcast and print media than anyone in the country. This according to the marketing firm Young & Rubicam, which recently used broadcast ratings and readership surveys to calculate the time spent with media each day by residents of the nation's 209 urban areas.

The typical Youngstown adult spends nearly nine hours each day with media of some kind. That's four hours and 20 minutes watching television, three hours and 31 minutes listening to the radio, 41 minutes reading newspapers and 18 minutes with magazines.

Youngstown doesn't lead the nation in any particular category, but the combined weight of its attention to television, radio and newspapers earned it the top spot. Only its magazine habits were below average, by about two minutes. Residents watch 32 more minutes of television, listen to 10 additional minutes of radio and linger over their newspapers seven minutes longer than average.

That last tidbit is welcome news, of course, for Paul Jagnow, managing editor of the daily Youngstown Vindicator. "Even 40 minutes a day [with newspapers], when elsewhere people are spending 20 minutes or less, that made us feel pretty good," he says, although he isn't sure his staff "gave a shit one way or the other" about the city's anointment as media central.

Ironically, the cities where most major news stories and entertainment programs originate--New York, Washington and Los Angeles --don't even rank in the top 30 in total media comsumption, largely because their citizens watch relatively little television. For example, New Yorkers spend more time with radio and magazines than Youngstown residents but almost 45 minutes less in front of the tube.

The individual media capitals identified by Young & Rubicam:

* Television: The Greenwood-Greenville area of Mississippi, where residents watch 51 minutes longer than the average three hours and 48 minutes. …

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