Magazine article USA TODAY

Talk Radio Audience Shows Little Growth

Magazine article USA TODAY

Talk Radio Audience Shows Little Growth

Article excerpt

While much has been reported on the growing popularity of talk radio, the size of its audience has remained largely unchanged over the last three years, according to a University of Michigan study. Using data from 13 Times Mirror Center polls since 1993, Michael Traugott, professor of communication studies, found that the number of regular listeners of call-in shows on current events, public issues, and politics has remained constant--from 17% of respondents in May, 1993, to 18% in March, 1996.

The relative size of the regular audience for shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Bob Grant, G. Gordon Liddy, and others has ranged from a high of 22% in June, 1994, to a low of 15% in October of that year. "The `conventional wisdom' that the talk-radio audience is growing is not supported. Neither the size of the audience nor its demography and ideology seem to have shifted over time."

According to the study, a higher proportion of men (ranging from 18 to 26% in the 13 surveys) than women (12-19%) regularly listen to talk radio. …

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